PRECIOUS-Gold slips as dollar holds steady

    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.
    * 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
    * 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

     1400  U.S.          Employment trends            Feb

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Sunil