March 12 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell on Monday as the dollar held steady after data showed the U.S. economy added a larger-than-expected number of jobs in February. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,322.15 per ounce at 0123 GMT. Prices touched their lowest since March 1 at $1,312.99 in the previous session. * U.S. gold futures for April delivery fell 0.1 percent to $1,322.10 per ounce. * The dollar index , against a basket of currencies, was little changed at 90.131. * A relief rally swept across Asian share markets on Monday after the U.S. jobs report managed to impress with its strength while also easing fears of inflation and faster rate hikes, a neat feat that whetted risk appetites globally. * Non-farm payrolls jumped by 313,000 jobs last month, boosted by the largest rise in construction jobs since 2007, the Labor Department said on Friday. * Average hourly earnings edged up four cents, or 0.1 percent, to $26.75 in February, a slowdown from the 0.3 percent rise in January. That lowered the year-on-year increase in average hourly earnings to 2.6 percent from 2.8 percent in January. * After a government report on Friday showed wage pressures remained muted even as U.S. employers added far more jobs than expected in February, one U.S. central banker advocated a pause on rate hikes, another waxed sarcastic about the Fed's view of maximum employment - and a third hinted he could support even faster rate hikes. * The recent volatility in global financial markets should not deter top central banks from lifting interest rates or ending years of unprecedented stimulus, the Bank for International Settlements said on Sunday. * Speculators raised their net long position in gold by 4,178 contracts to 161,812 contracts, Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed. * Gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd said on Monday its fiscal 2018 guidance would be adversely affected by the closure of its flagship mine following damages to a tailings dam wall. * South African gold producers will likely reach a settlement within six weeks in a lawsuit over a fatal lung disease that companies have set aside 5 billion rand ($420 million) in provisions for, a lawyer and industry group said on Sunday. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1400 U.S. Employment trends Feb (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil Nair)
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