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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as dollar holds onto gains; U.S.-China spat in focus

    * Specs cut gold bullish positions in week ended Aug 4 -
CFTC
    * Japan, Singapore markets closed for public holidays
    * Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus:
open
tmsnrt.rs/3aIRuz7 in an external browser

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Aug 10 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as the dollar
held onto gains made after better-than-expected U.S. payrolls
data, while investors kept a close eye on Sino-U.S. relations
ahead of scheduled trade talks.
    Spot gold        was down 0.3% at $2,029.19 per ounce by
0701 GMT. U.S. gold futures         rose 0.6% to $2,039.60.
Japanese and Singapore markets were closed for public holidays.
    Gold hit a record high of $2,072.50 on Friday before
retreating nearly 2% as the dollar bounced on data showing U.S.
nonfarm payrolls increased by 1.763 million jobs in July.       
            
    "The stronger dollar narrative is weighing on investors'
decisions, along with the fact that people will be more (prone)
to profit-taking after such a big run-up," said Stephen Innes,
chief market strategist at financial services firm AxiCorp.
    "A correction is very possible here. It really depends on
how market views the overall dollar, with U.S.-China trade
escalation sort of favourable to the dollar."
    The dollar has, on occasion, been the favoured safe haven
amid flare-ups in tensions between Washington and Beijing.  
Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump took steps to ban two
popular Chinese apps.                                 
    "There is room here for people to unwind some of their gold
exposure," said DailyFx currency strategist Ilya Spivak, since
it appears the U.S. Federal Reserve might start "to take their
foot off the gas" on aggressive stimulus after recent better
economic data.
    Speculators reduced their bullish positions in COMEX gold
and silver contracts in the week to Aug. 4.        
    But gold's appeal as a safe haven has been underpinned by
the uncertainty driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, with resultant
widespread global stimulus also fuelling concerns of inflation.
           
    In the United States, which has marked a grim milestone of 5
million cases, Trump signed executive orders on Saturday partly
restoring enhanced unemployment payments to millions of
Americans.             
    Silver        gained 0.2% to $28.33 per ounce, platinum
       rose 1% to $970.86 and palladium        was steady at
$2,177.08.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Aditya Soni)
  
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