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PRECIOUS-Gold rises as bleak U.S. jobs data dents dollar

    Feb 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged higher on Monday, as
weaker-than-expected U.S. jobs data re-ignited concerns over a
recovery in the world's largest economy, pressuring the dollar
and boosting bullion's appeal.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        rose 0.1% to $1,813.99 per ounce by 0040
GMT. U.S. gold futures        gained 0.2% to $1,816.50.
    * The dollar        fell from an over two-month peak on
Friday after a U.S. jobs report indicated a slow recovery from
the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. A weaker dollar makes gold
cheaper for holders of other currencies.       
    * The employment report on Friday showed job losses in
manufacturing and construction, two sectors which have been
propping up the economy.             
    * U.S. President Joe Biden and his Democratic allies in
Congress forged ahead with their $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief
package on Friday.             
    * Capping gold's gains, yields on the benchmark 10-year
Treasury note soared to levels not seen in nearly a year. Higher
yields increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding
bullion.      
    * Breakevens on 10-year Treasury Inflation-Protected
Securities              , which measure average annual inflation
expectations for the coming decade, have jumped to 2.19%, the
highest level since mid-2018.             
    * Gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency
debasement, likely from widespread stimulus.
    * Speculators reduced their bullish positions in COMEX gold
and silver contracts in the week to Feb. 2, data showed on
Friday.        
    * Physical gold demand picked up in China last week ahead of
the Lunar New Year festival, while Indian retail buyers cheered
a sharp dip in domestic rates.         
    * Spot silver        gained 1.1% to $27.12 an ounce,
platinum        rose 0.7% to $1,130.91 and palladium        was
steady at $2,336.29.
    
DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)
0700  Germany  Industrial Output MM  Dec

 (Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna
Chandra Eluri)
  
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