May 8, 2020 / 1:34 AM / 18 days ago

PRECIOUS-Gold eases on firmer equities, focus on U.S. jobs data

    May 8 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Friday as appetite for
riskier assets improved after a string of strong corporate
earnings, while investors awaited the U.S. jobs report for April
to gauge the economic impact of coronavirus-induced
restrictions. 
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        slipped 0.2% to $1,713.97 an ounce by
0052 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were steady at $1,725.70.
    * The metal gained about 2% on Thursday on the back of bleak
U.S. economic data, which along with uncertainties over global
economic recovery and U.S.-China relations, lifted bullion
higher by about 0.9% so far this week.
    * Millions more Americans sought unemployment benefits last
week, with the total number of people who have filed claims
since March 21 rising to about 33.5 million, data showed on
Thursday.              
    * Asian stocks were set to track Wall Street gains after
upbeat corporate earnings took the focus off upcoming data that
is expected show the worst U.S. unemployment rate in more than
70 years.            
    * U.S. non-farm payrolls, due later in the day, are forecast
to have plunged by a historic 22 million in April, according to
a Reuters survey of economists.             
    * Though states have begun to reopen their economies, it is
not clear consumers are ready to venture back to the
marketplace, Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank President Raphael
Bostic said on Thursday.             
    * Trade negotiators from the United States and China will
hold a phone call as early as next week about progress in
implementing the Phase 1 trade deal, Bloomberg reported on
Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter.             
    *  Financial markets began pricing in a negative U.S.
interest rate environment for the first time on Thursday, a
place the Federal Reserve is determined not to go.             
    * The Bank of England said Britain could be headed for its
biggest economic slump in over 300 years due to the lockdown and
kept the door open on Thursday for more stimulus next month.
            
    * Japan's March inflation-adjusted real wages fell for the
first time in three months, government data showed on Friday.
    * Palladium        rose 1% to $1,873.91 per ounce, platinum
       gained 0.3% to $765.51, while silver        fell 1.5% to
$15.27. 
 
DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
1230  U.S.   Non-Farm Payrolls    April
1230  U.S.   Unemployment Rate    April
1230  U.S.   Average Earnings YY  April  

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru;Editing by
Aditya Soni)
  
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