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PRECIOUS-Gold gains as equity rally halts, dollar softens

    June 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose on Friday on a weaker
U.S. dollar and a pause in the recent rallies in global equity
markets, amid signs of lingering economic damage from the
coronavirus crisis that had investors moving towards the
safe-haven metal.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold        was up 0.2% at $1,714.78 per ounce, as of
1256 GMT. U.S. gold futures        were down 0.3% at $1,721.90.
    * However, the bullion was set for a third consecutive
weekly drop.
    * The dollar index        has fallen over 1.5% this week,
making gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.       
    * The rally in Asian equities was set to pause, even as the
week's global equity rally lost some steam on Thursday as
traders took gains.            
    * Showing lingering economic damage, U.S. jobless claims
fell below 2 million for the first time since mid-March, but
remains very high; and U.S. trade deficit surged in April with
exports at a 10-year low, data showed on Thursday.             
            
    * Investors now wait for the U.S. nonfarm payrolls data due
later in the day, and is likely to show payrolls falling by 8
million after a record 20.537 million plunge in April, according
to a Reuters survey of economists.             
    * Meanwhile, the European Central Bank approved a
larger-than-expected expansion of its stimulus package on
Thursday.             
    * Japan's household spending suffered the biggest annual
drop on record in April, although the fall was not as large as
analysts had forecast.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings, dipped 0.1% to 1,132.21
tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Palladium        rose 0.7% to $1,946.55 per ounce and
platinum        climbed 0.4% to $840.39, while silver        was
trading flat at $17.72.
   

    DATA/EVENTS (GMT)
    
0600  Germany  Industrial Orders MM     April
0730  UK       Halifax House Prices MM  May
1230  US       Non-Farm Payrolls        May
1230  US       Unemployment Rate        May
1230  US       Average Earnings YY      May
    

 (Reporting by Harshith Aranya in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips)
  
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