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PRECIOUS-Gold holds overnight gains; U.S. data back in focus

Aug 30 (Reuters) - Gold held steady early on Tuesday as
bargain hunters swooped in after the metal fell to near
five-week lows, while investors wait to see how U.S. nonfarm
payroll data due later this week will play into the timing of
any rate hike.

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold was little changed at $1,323.26 per ounce
at 0116 GMT. The metal had recovered from a near five-week low
of $1,314.70 after a dollar run lost some steam late Monday.
    * U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,327.30.
    * Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Friday the case
for "an increase" in the policy rate has strengthened in recent
months due to improvements in the labor market and expectations
for solid economic growth. 
    * Friday's nonfarm report for August, as well as other data,
could reinforce hawkish messages from Yellen and other Fed
officials.
    * Employers are expected on Friday to show 180,000 job gains
in August, according to the median estimate of 89 economists
polled by Reuters, below the better-than-expected 255,000
additions in July and 292,000 gains in June. 
    * U.S. consumer spending increased for a fourth straight
month in July amid strong demand for automobiles, pointing to a
pickup in economic growth that could pave the way for the Fed to
raise interest rates this year. 
    * Gold is highly-sensitive to rising U.S. interest rates,
which increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
bullion while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
    * Japan's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell to 3.0
percent in July from the previous month, data showed on Tuesday.
 
    * Russia's biggest private bank Otkritie Financial
Corporation said on Monday it become the first Russian
bank to sell gold bars on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.
 
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    * DATA AHEAD (GMT) 
    0900 Euro zone business climate, economic sentiment,  
    industrial sentiment          
    1255 US Redbook 
    1400 US consumer confidence for August 
    2350 Japan preliminary industrial output for July

 (Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by
Richard Pullin)
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