PRECIOUS-Gold rises from 1-month low after U.S. payrolls

Sat Dec 8, 2012 1:35am IST

* Fed stimulus seen continuing after bright U.S. jobs data
    * China's gold imports from Hong Kong hit 10-month low
    * Eyes on next week's Federal Reserve meeting, fiscal cliff
    * Coming up: U.S. international trade data Tuesday

 (Adds market details, update prices)
    By Frank Tang
    NEW YORK, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Gold rose on Friday, rebounding
from early lows, as upbeat U.S. nonfarm payrolls data did not
alter a view that the Federal Reserve will continue to use
bullion-friendly economic stimulus to boost growth.
    For the week, bullion was down 0.7 percent for a second
consecutive weekly loss.
    The metal fell to a one-month low earlier in the session as
safe-haven buying dried up after data showed U.S. employers
hired more workers than expected in November and jobs growth
remaining on a steady but slow path. 
    However, gold buying emerged as the market later focused on
downward revisions to the job figures in September and October.
A sharp decline in consumer confidence in early December and
short-covering by funds also lifted gold prices. 
    Analysts also said that the encouraging jobs report was not
enough to dash hopes of more Fed buyback of assets known as
quantitative easing (QE) to ease worries about the fiscal cliff,
referring to tax hikes and spending cuts set to kick in early
next year.
    "It's all about QE with these metals and I don't think there
is any end of that in 2013," said Matthew Schilling, commodities
broker at futures brokerage RJ O'Brien.
    Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent at $1,702 an ounce by
2:27 p.m. EST (1927 GMT), rebounding from a one-month low of
$1,683.79.
    U.S. COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled
up $3.70 an ounce at $1,705.50, with trading volume more than 30
percent below its 30-day average, preliminary Reuters data
showed.    
    The Labor Department said nonfarm employment expanded by
146,000 jobs last month. 
    "(Today's jobs data) doesn't remove the need for stimulus
but might convince the Fed to opt for a smaller program," BK
Asset Management managing director Kathy Lien said.
    The payrolls data was being closely watched ahead of a
policy meeting of the Federal Reserve next week. The Fed is
expected to unveil a fresh round of bond purchases to battle a
possible recession if the United States fails to resolve the
budget crisis is prompting.
    Many economists expect the U.S. central bank to announce
monthly bond purchases of $45 billion after its policy gathering
on Dec. 11-12. This will be on top of its September announcement
of $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities until the job
market dramatically improves.  

    GOLD ETFS HIT RECORD HIGHS
    Investors' appetite for physically backed funds held firm,
with holdings of gold exchange-traded funds 
hitting record highs at 76.133 million ounces on Thursday.
    However, gold imports from Hong Kong to China, one of the
world's top bullion buyers, fell in October to their lowest in
ten months, data showed on Friday. 
    Bullion buyers largely ignored a resurgent dollar which has
risen for a third consecutive day and posted a 1.5 percent gain
during that time.
    Among other precious metals, silver was up 3 cents at
$33.01 an ounce. Spot platinum was up 0.8 percent at
$1,604.50 an ounce, while spot palladium was up 0.3
percent at $692.30 an ounce.
 2:27 PM EST     LAST/    NET   PCT      LOW    HIGH  CURRENT
                SETTLE   CHNG  CHNG                       VOL
 US Gold FEB   1705.50   3.70   0.2  1684.10 1706.90  130,984
 US Silver MAR  33.131  0.017   0.1   32.680  33.340   38,697
 US Plat JAN   1607.00   6.30   0.4  1590.50 1608.90    8,780
 US Pall MAR    698.00   0.95   0.1   688.50  702.00    4,783
                                                               
 Gold          1702.00   3.38   0.2  1685.01 1705.00         
 Silver         33.010  0.030   0.1   32.640  33.240
 Platinum      1604.50  12.00   0.8  1594.00 1606.00
 Palladium      692.30   2.30   0.3   690.70  698.50
                                                               
 TOTAL MARKET              VOLUME          30-D ATM VOLATILITY
                CURRENT   30D AVG  250D AVG   CURRENT     CHG
 US Gold        136,839   187,030   174,667      13.4   -0.02
 US Silver       40,529    58,963    52,689     21.66   -0.03
 US Platinum     10,096     8,396     8,808     16.43   -0.02
 US Palladium     4,808     6,078     4,753                  
                                                               
 

 (Additional reporting by Jan Harvey and David Brough in London;
Editing by Marguerita Choy)
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