October 6, 2017 / 4:11 AM / in a year

PRECIOUS-Gold hits 2-mth low as dollar gains ahead of U.S. jobs data

    * Spot gold set for 4th straight weekly decline
    * U.S. nonfarm payrolls due at 1230 GMT
    * Spot gold may slide to $1,260/oz - technicals

 (Adds comment, updates prices)
    By Apeksha Nair
    Oct 6 (Reuters) - Gold hit its lowest in nearly two months
in range-bound trade on Friday, as the dollar climbed to a more
than seven-week high ahead of key U.S. jobs data later in the
    Spot gold        was unchanged at $1,267.71 an ounce at 0705
GMT, after hitting its lowest since Aug. 9 earlier in the
    It was down 0.9 percent for the week and headed for a fourth
straight weekly decline.
    U.S. gold futures         for December delivery were down
0.2 percent at $1,270 per ounce.
    "The dollar is strong. That is one reason why gold is
rangebound. Markets are expected to hold this way until nonfarm
payrolls is out. We might see some action only then," said Brian
Lan, managing director at dealer GoldSilver Central in
    Asian shares rose, tracking Wall Street gains, and the
dollar touched an over seven-week high against a basket of
currencies        on fresh signs of economic growth and hopes
for progress on U.S. tax reforms, with traders looking to U.S.
jobs data for near-term catalysts.            
    "Investors will be casting a keen eye on tonight's non-farm
payroll data release, given the relative strength in equities
and the dollar, a strong NFP reading could have gold testing the
200 DMA level at $1252," MKS PAMP said in a note. 
    The U.S. employment data for September is expected to show a
slowdown due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
    "The rebound of the dollar has been quite strong and may
need to pause," said Samson Li, an analyst with Thomson Reuters
    "Even if the dollar index may break over 94, further upside
is probably limited, and a consolidation (softer dollar) will
likely follow, before strengthening again towards the end of
Nov/start of Dec when the market is expecting another rate
    Markets are largely expecting the U.S. Federal Reserve to
raise interest rates for the third time this year, in December.
    The Fed will need to raise rates further to keep the economy
on track to full employment and the central bank's 2 percent
inflation goal, Kansas City Fed President Esther George said on
    Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, as these lift the
opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting
the dollar, in which it is priced.
    Spot gold may slide to $1,260 per ounce as it has broken a
support at $1,270, according to Reuters technicals analyst Wang
    In other precious metals, silver        was flat at $16.58
an ounce.
    Platinum        edged up 0.2 percent to $913 an ounce, while
palladium        eased 0.1 percent to $938 an ounce.

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru;
Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Subhranshu Sahu)
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