May 4, 2018 / 4:46 AM / a year ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eases on firmer dollar, investors await U.S. jobs data

    * Gold heads for third consecutive weekly decline
    * Spot gold may bounce more to $1,326/oz - technicals

 (Adds quotes, updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    BENGALURU, May 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices turned negative on
Friday on a firmer dollar, while investors focused on the U.S.
jobs data due later in the day for fresh catalysts.
    Spot gold        was down 0.1 percent at $1,309.93 per ounce
at 0740 GMT, and was headed for a third consecutive weekly
    U.S. gold futures         for June delivery fell 0.15
percent to $1,310.70 per ounce.
    "The focus is on the U.S. nonfarm payroll data ... We see
dollar index rising once again on expectations of higher number
and that's what is affecting gold price," said Naeem Aslam,
chief markets analyst at Think Markets.
    The dollar index        was up about 0.1 percent at 92.498
with the focus on whether U.S. jobs data will provide the spark
for another push higher. Against a basket of currencies, the
index touched a 2018 peak of 92.834 on Wednesday.       
    The greenback was on track for an about 1 percent gain for
the week.
    The employment report for April will be evaluated for
further indications of the strength of the U.S. labour market
and inflation pressures. Nonfarm payrolls (NFP) likely increased
by 192,000 jobs in April after rising 103,000 in March,
according to a Reuters survey of economists.
    "Gold bears may be offered an opportunity to attack and
conquer the $1,300 level today, if the NFP data results exceed
market expectations," said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at
    Spot gold is biased to bounce more to a resistance at $1,326
per ounce, as suggested by a projection analysis and a falling
channel, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
    Holding of SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.13 percent to 865.60
tonnes on Thursday.             
    Among other precious metals, spot silver        was flat at
$16.41 per ounce.
    Platinum        fell 0.1 percent to $898.80 per ounce and 
was on track for a third weekly fall.
    Palladium        inched lower to 0.1 percent to $961.50 per

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Biju
Dwarakanath and Gopakumar Warrier)
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