February 2, 2018 / 1:20 AM / 8 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold dips ahead of U.S. jobs data

    Feb 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down early on Friday
ahead of U.S. jobs data due later in the day as traders looked
for guidance on the course of monetary policy for the remainder
of the year.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS  
    * Spot gold        dipped 0.1 percent to $1,346.90 per ounce
at 0109 GMT, and has fallen 0.1 percent so far this week. 
    * U.S. gold futures         were up 0.2 percent at $1,350.60
per ounce.
    * Traders are looking to the U.S. government's jobs report
on Friday. Nonfarm payrolls probably rose by 180,000 jobs in
January after increasing 148,000 in December, according to a
Reuters survey of economists. The unemployment rate is forecast
to be unchanged at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.
    * Stronger-than-expected jobs data, lower unemployment and
higher wages would signal strength in the economy, and could in
turn strengthen the dollar and pressure gold, analysts say.
    * The U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged on
Wednesday but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further
gradual" rate increases.             
    * A survey on Thursday showed eurozone manufacturing
continued to boom last month, supporting expectations that the
European Central Bank is on track to normalise monetary policy.
            
    * Sibanye-Stillwater          said on Thursday that over
1,000 miners were stuck underground at its Beatrix gold mine in
South Africa after a storm knocked out power, but they were not
in danger.             
    * India said on Thursday it expected economic growth to
surge above 8 percent as it announced a 2018/19 budget that
allocated billions of dollars for rural infrastructure and
unveiled a health insurance programme for around 500 million
poor.             
    * Gold consumption in China grew by 9.41 percent from the
previous year to 1,089 tonnes in 2017, state television CCTV
reported on Thursday, citing figures from the China Gold
Association.             
    * Acacia Mining          has spent $2 million to lock in the
option to sell 120,000 ounces of its gold output at $1,320 an
ounce, hedging against lower prices to offset the impact of a
government ban on concentrate exports.             
    * U.S. fund investors cashed out of cash funds and stocked
up on stocks in the latest week, ignoring a setback in markets
and taking on more risk, Lipper data showed on Thursday.
            
    
     
    DATA AHEAD (GMT)
    
    1000  Euro zone      Producer prices              Dec 
    1330  U.S.           Nonfarm payrolls             Jan
    1330  U.S.           Unemployment rate            Jan
    1445  U.S.           ISM-New York index           Jan
    1500  U.S.           Factory orders               Dec

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by
Richard Pullin)
  
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