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PRECIOUS-Gold dips, on track for fifth straight weekly decline

BENGALURU, June 3 (Reuters) - Gold slipped early Friday and
was headed for its fifth straight weekly decline, as the dollar
and Asian stocks steadied and the market awaited the U.S.
non-farm payrolls data due later in the day.     

    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold dipped 0.2 percent at $1,207.80 per ounce
by 0052 GMT. Gold is on track to register its fifth straight
weekly decline, and was currently down about 0.3 percent for
this week. 
    * U.S. gold was down 0.2 percent at $1,210.40
    * The dollar index held near a two-month peak, leaving it
poised for a breakthrough should non-farm payrolls due later in
the day bolster expectations for an imminent hike in U.S. rates.
 
    * Asian shares held steady on Friday as investors braced for
U.S. payrolls data. 
    * U.S. private employers increased hiring in May and new
applications for jobless benefits fell last week, further
boosting the economic outlook for the second quarter. Another
report on Thursday showed planned layoffs by U.S.-based
employers fell 53 percent to a five-month low last month.
 
    * The steady stream of upbeat data suggest the economy is
regaining momentum after growth slowed sharply at the start of
the year, which could allow the Federal Reserve to raise
interest rates later this month or in July.
    * Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan on Thursday reiterated
his view that the central bank should raise interest rates soon
because the economy is getting "pretty darn close" to full
employment and inflation is starting to rise. 
    * Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.51 percent to 875.20
tonnes on Thursday from 870.74 tonnes on Wednesday, the highest
since October 2013.  
    * The Perth Mint's sales of gold products fell to the lowest
in four years, while silver sales dropped to a nine-month low as
consumers awaited a further fall in prices on expectations of an
earlier-than-expected U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
      
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    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    0750  France Markit services PMI                    May 
    0755  Germany Markit services PMI                   May 
    0800  Euro zone Markit service PMI final            May 
    0900  Euro zone Retail sales                        Apr 
    1230  U.S. non-farm payrolls                        May 
    1230  U.S. Unemployment rate                        May 
    1230  U.S. International trade                      Apr 
    1400  U.S. factory orders                           Apr 
    1400  U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI                May 

 (Reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by
Michael Perry)
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