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PRECIOUS-Gold near 2-week lows after strong U.S. data lifts dollar, yields

June 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices languished near two-week lows on Friday and looked set for their worst week in three months after robust U.S. economic data boosted the dollar and bond yields, ahead of much awaited May non-farm payroll numbers.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was down 0.1% at $1,869.56 per ounce, as of 0038 GMT, after hitting its lowest since May 20 in the previous session. Prices have fallen 1.7% so far this week.

* U.S. gold futures eased 0.1% at $1,872.10 per ounce.

* The dollar index rose to a three-week high against its rivals, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* The benchmark 10-year yield rose to 1.63%, increasing the opportunity cost of holding non-interest bearing gold.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped below 400,000 last week, while U.S. private employers stepped up hiring in May, spurred by robust demand amid a rapidly reopening economy.

* Meanwhile, a measure of U.S. services industry activity increased to a record high in May.

* Focus now turns to U.S. jobs data later on Friday for further cues on economic recovery and near-term Federal Reserve policy action.

* U.S. stocks ended lower on Thursday, as investors balanced concerns about inflation and the Federal Reserve reining in stimulus with relief about corporate tax hikes.

* Japan’s household spending soared in April, official figures showed on Friday.

* U.S. President Joe Biden offered to scrap his proposed corporate tax hike to win Republican backing of infrastructure plan.

* Silver fell 0.2% to $27.39 per ounce, palladium dipped 0.2% to $2,832.33, and platinum slipped 0.4% to $1,152.21.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1230 US Non-Farm Payrolls May 1230 US Unemployment Rate May 1230 US Average Earnings YY May 1400 US Factory Orders MM April (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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