PRECIOUS-Gold on track for fourth weekly drop as dollar strengthens

    * Payrolls report due at 1230 GMT
    * Gold not living up to its safe-haven status of late -
    * Palladium set for third straight week of gains

 (Updates prices)
    By Arundhati Sarkar
    July 8 (Reuters) - Gold prices steadied on Friday but were
set for a fourth straight weekly drop, as the dollar resumed its
rally while focus shifted to U.S. non-farm payroll print that
could influence expectations of interest rate hikes. 
    Spot gold        was little changed at 1,740.31 per ounce by
1114 GMT. Bullion has lost nearly 4% so far this week, which
would be its worst since mid-June last year.
    U.S. gold futures        firmed at $1,739.90.
    The dollar was        set for its second consecutive week of
gains, making bullion less attractive for overseas buyers.
    The payrolls report is due at 1230 GMT. A Reuters poll
predicts it rose by 268,000 jobs last month after rising by
390,000 in May.
    "A strong payrolls number and another strong CPI number
(next week) will merely serve to drive the dollar higher and
gold lower," but weaker readings could signal a policy shift and
reset expectations around the September Fed meeting, said
Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets UK.
    On the technical front, gold's break below the $1,760 level
could signal a further slide to $1,720, and potentially the 2021
lows near $1,680, Hewson added.
    Two of the Federal Reserve's most vocal hawks on Thursday
said they would support another 75-basis-point rate increase
this month and a shift to a slower pace afterward, downplaying
recession risks.             
    Higher rates dent the appeal of non-yielding bullion.
    Gold has not been living up to its reputation as a safe
haven of late, and the Fed is considering adopting an even more
restrictive stance if the high inflation pressure persists,
Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said in a note.           
    Spot silver        fell 0.1% to $19.17 per ounce, while
platinum        was little changed at $873.16, and both were
headed for weekly losses.
    Palladium        rose 1.2 % to $2,014.84, and was set for
its third straight week of gains.

 (Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips and Vinay Dwivedi)