PRECIOUS-Gold slips as US data lifts dollar, boosts rate hike prospects

    June 2 (Reuters) - Gold inched lower on Friday as Asian
stocks and the dollar firmed after upbeat U.S. private sector
job figures appeared to boost the prospects for an interest rate
hike this month.
    Investors will be looking out for further clues on the
outlook for rates in U.S. non-farm payroll data due later in the
    * Spot gold        had dropped 0.2 percent to $1,262.95 per
ounce by 0054 GMT. It has fallen 0.3 percent for the week and
could register its first weekly decline in four weeks. 
    * U.S. gold futures         fell 0.4 percent to $1,265.60 an
    * The dollar hit a one-week high against the yen early on
Friday and was last at 111.61 yen       .       
    * MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
                gained 0.2 percent.             
    * U.S. factory activity ticked up in May after slowing for
two straight months and private employers stepped up hiring,
suggesting the economy is regaining speed after struggling at
the start of the year.             
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve sent a strong signal on Thursday
that it would raise interest rates this month and soon begin
shedding some of its $4.5 trillion in bond holdings, despite
some weak recent U.S. inflation readings.                 
    * President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would withdraw
the United States from the landmark 2015 global agreement to
fight climate change, a move that fulfilled a major campaign
pledge but drew condemnation from U.S. allies and business
    * Former FBI Director James Comey will testify next Thursday
before a U.S. Senate panel investigating Russia's alleged
meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, in a hearing that could be
difficult for Trump.             
    * British Prime Minister Theresa May's gamble on a snap
election was under question on Thursday after the latest opinion
polls showed her Conservative Party's lead was dwindling just a
week before voting begins.               
    * The European Central Bank will sound a little more
optimistic on the economy at its June 8 meeting and could raise
its assessment of risks to balanced or begin discussing shift
from its bias to ease policy, a Reuters poll of economists
    * Federal funds futures implied traders saw a 96 percent
chance the U.S. central bank would increase key overnight
borrowing costs by a quarter point, to 1.00-1.25 percent, at its
June 13-14 policy meeting, CME Group's FedWatch program showed. 
    0730  EU-China Business Summit with speakers including
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and           
   Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang 
    0900  Euro zone Producer prices           Apr 
    1230  U.S. Nonfarm payrolls               May 
    1230  U.S. Unemployment rate              May 
    1230  U.S. International trade            Apr 
    1345  U.S.  ISM-New York index            May

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph