April 5, 2019 / 11:00 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips as stocks gain on trade hopes; focus on U.S. jobs data

* Spot gold on track for second weekly fall

* U.S. non-farm payrolls data due at 1230 GMT

* Platinum set for biggest weekly gain since Jan 2017 (Updates prices, adds comments and details)

By Sumita Layek

April 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Friday as global stocks firmed and the dollar rose against the yen, but bullion held above a 10-week low touched in the previous session ahead of U.S. jobs data.

Spot gold slipped 0.2 percent to $1,289.40 per ounce by 1012 GMT, after touching its lowest since Jan. 25 at $1,280.59 on Thursday. The metal was down about 0.2 percent so far for the week.

U.S. gold futures were unchanged at $1,294 an ounce.

“The market is being a little bit cautious ahead of the non-farm payroll figures, after we had a disappointing figure in February. Bond markets are trading lower, which means yields are up, increasing opportunity cost for holding gold,” Quantitative Commodity Research analyst Peter Fertig said.

“It also seems a bit more out of the leaders and into the laggards; platinum is up, silver is up while gold and palladium are down. It is a little bit of buying underperformers and taking profits in those who did quite well over the last couple of weeks and months.”

The monthly U.S. payrolls data is expected to show an increase by 180,000 jobs last month, a Reuters survey showed. Investors will also be watching whether February’s 20,000 job count is revised higher.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump said Washington and Beijing were close to a trade deal, boosting risk appetite and pushing global stocks higher, while also lifting the dollar to a three-week peak versus the yen. [MKTS/GLOB/

Holdings in the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell for a fourth consecutive session on Thursday. Holdings were at their lowest since Dec. 10 at 24.52 million ounces.

Spot platinum was up 0.6 percent at $903, after rising to its highest since mid-June 2018 at $901.49 in the last session. The metal is up about 7 percent this week, the most since January 2017.

“Platinum is probably benefiting at the expense of palladium, as the market takes a view on auto-catalyst substitution,” said Nicholas Frappell, global general manager at ABC Bullion.

The spread between palladium and platinum has declined nearly 42 percent to around $438 an ounce from a record $753 in mid-March. Both metals are primarily consumed by automakers for catalytic converter manufacturing.

Palladium was down more than 2 percent at $1,336.44 an ounce, on course for a second weekly fall.

Silver was up 0.2 percent at $15.17 per ounce, having fallen to its lowest since the end of December in the previous session. (Reporting by Sumita Layek and K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by Dale Hudson)

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