* Dollar edges up but eases off high after poor job data
* Physical buying from jewelers helps support
* Silver slides to year low on growth fears
(Recasts, updates prices, market activity, adds second byline, dateline, previously LONDON)
By Carole Vaporean and David Sheppard
NEW YORK/LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Gold ended a rollercoaster day slightly higher on Friday after soaring more than 2 percent as weak U.S. jobs data caused the dollar to retreat from 11-month highs.
Gold bullion had been down in early trade. But then the U.S. Labor Department reported a sharper decline in August jobs creation than experts had expected. The unemployment rate jumped to a five-year high. [USD/]
After the report, the U.S dollar slid against the euro for the first time in seven sessions, and gold advanced to its session peak at $819.30 an ounce.
Gold retreated from session highs but spot gold XAU= remained up slightly at $801.10/813.10 an ounce in late trade compared with $796.15/797.75 at Thursday's close.
COMEX December gold GCZ8 rose as high as $824.20 during the session as the dollar weakened after the payrolls report. Some investors took advantage of currency differentials in overseas markets; others bought gold as a safe haven against U.S. economic weakness.
But the dollar edged up in late speculative buying, and December gold closed down 40 cents an ounce at $802.80 an ounce on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
The Labor Department said 84,000 jobs were lost in August, a greater number than the 75,000 forecast by economists and the 60,000 lost payrolls in July. [nN05400604]
With the price swings in both gold and the dollar, traders said some investors got caught behind the action.
“This looks like the last battle of the longs to get prices to rally,” said Commerzbank spot-trader Michael Kempinkski.
“A few shorts got caught on the wrong side when prices went back through $800, so they’ve had to cover going into the weekend. With the way the dollar has recovered lately, gold should really be down around $750 an ounce by now.”
The dollar has risen by more than 17 cents against the euro since slipping to its weakest ever level of $1.6038 in mid-July.
Gold has fallen from close to $980 an ounce during the same period, with many analysts saying the dollar’s strength or weakness remains the number one factor in determining the direction for gold.
Increased physical buying by jewelers in India and the Middle East at lower price levels has supported prices after demand was thwarted earlier in the year due to gold’s record-breaking advance. [ID:nBOM142293]
But traders said most physical buy orders would not emerge until prices challenged 11-month lows around $770 an ounce.
Fears of economic slowing hit silver and platinum group metals, which often trade like industrial metals.
Silver was sold to a 12-month low after the dismal jobs numbers, traders said. A slide beneath a key technical level triggered automatic sell orders and a drop to a $12.04 an ounce low, they added.
Spot silver XAG= was down sharply at $12.19/12.27 an ounce in late New York dealings from Thursday's $12.74/12.80 close.
Platinum dropped on concerns over demand for autocatalysts, after this week’s poor car sales in the United States, prompted investment funds to sell.
Spot platinum XPT= sank to $1,353.00/1373.00 an ounce in late New York trade, from the late Thursday quote at $1,391.50/1,411.50 an ounce.
The United States has had 10 straight months of declining car sales. Autocatalysts, used to clean exhaust fumes, account for more than half of global platinum use.
Platinum's sister metal palladium XPD= dropped to $267.00/275.00 from $281.50/289.50 per ounce late on Thursday. (Additional reporting by Chikafumi Hodo in Tokyo; Editing by David Gregorio)