PRECIOUS Gold bides time with focus on U.S. jobs data

Gold bullion is displayed at GoldSilver Central's office in Singapore June 19, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su/File Photo
  • Spot gold may test resistance at $1,826/oz - technicals
  • Dollar edges up from one-month low

Sept 1 (Reuters) - Gold prices were caught in a tight range on Wednesday as investors held off from making large bets as they prepared for key U.S. jobs data that could influence the Federal Reserve's stimulus tapering strategy.

Spot gold was flat at $1,812.86 per ounce, as of 1156 GMT, while U.S. gold futures eased 0.2% to $1,814.40.

The dollar index edged up from a one-month low, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

The U.S. non-farm payrolls report for August is due on Friday. Economists polled by Reuters predicted payrolls increased by 750,000 in August.

While the data is expected to be good given the strength in the labour market, if it exceeds expectations, this might lead to a stronger dollar and put "some pressure on gold", said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.

Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged in his remarks at the Jackson Hole symposium that tapering could begin this year, but it will remain cautious in its decision to raise interest rates. read more

"The lack of follow-through in gold (after Jackson Hole symposium) is very telling of the fact that the market recognises that the direction for policy is now starting to wind back stimulus," said DailyFX currency strategist Ilya Spivak.

While gold is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement, caused by massive stimulus measures, lower interest rates also reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Indicative of sentiment, holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, have fallen to their lowest level since April 2020.

Elsewhere, silver rose 0.2% to $23.94 per ounce, while platinum eased 0.4% to $1,008.84. Palladium rose 0.5% to $2,480.30.

Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Pravin Char and Louise Heavens

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