PRECIOUS-Gold edges up as bargain hunters step in after falls

Oct 6 (Reuters) - Gold edged higher on early Thursday as
bargain hunters stepped in to buy after the metal hit fresh
three-month lows in the previous session, ahead of Friday's
nonfarm payrolls report.

    * Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,268.60 an ounce
by 0058 GMT. Bullion touched a fresh low of $1,261.59 in the
previous session, its lowest since June 24.
    * U.S. gold futures rose 0.2 percent to $1,270.90 an
    * U.S. services sector activity rebounded to an 11-month
high in September, an encouraging sign for economic growth that
may increase the prospect of a Federal Reserve interest rate
hike this year. 
    * Elsewhere, U.S. private employers added 154,000 jobs in
September, below economists' expectations, a report by a
payrolls processor showed on Wednesday. 
    * The Bank of England, which signalled a few weeks ago that
a fresh interest rate cut was likely next month, has been put on
the spot by signs that Britain's economy has weathered the
initial shock of the Brexit vote better than expected.
    * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund fell 0.03 percent to 947.63
tonnes on Wednesday. 
    * Physical gold demand in London jumped after this week's
price drop, dealers said on Wednesday. 
    * The Perth Mint's sales of gold and silver products rose in
    * A U.S. judge said gold investors may pursue much of their
lawsuit accusing four major banks of conspiring for a decade to
fix prices and exploit distortions at the expense of investors.
    * Negotiations are under way to resolve a week-long blockade
at Goldcorp Inc's suspended Peñasquito gold mine in
    * South Africa's Sibanye Gold has opened its Cooke
mine, chief executive Neal Froneman said on Wednesday, a day
after suspending work due to violence between rival unions.
    * Anglo American Platinum remains confident the
disposal of its labour-intensive Rustenburg mines in South
Africa to Sibanye Gold will clear its last regulatory
hurdle this year. 
    * For the top stories on metals and other news, click
      0600  Germany        Industrial orders         August 
      1230  U.S.           Weekly jobless claims 

 (Reporting by Swati Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard