February 3, 2017 / 1:06 AM / 7 months ago

PRECIOUS-Gold slips on profit-taking, firm dollar

Feb 3 (Reuters) - Gold prices slipped on Friday on a firmer
dollar and as investors booked profits after the metal hit
11-week highs the session before.
           
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * Spot gold had edged down 0.2 percent to $1,213.28
an ounce by 0023 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.4 percent
to $1,214.80.
    * Spot gold hit an 11-week high of $1,225.30 an ounce on
Thursday. It has risen 1.8 percent so far this week.
    * The dollar index, which measures the greenback
against a basket of major rivals, rose 0.1 percent on views that
the U.S. currency's longer-term upward trend remained intact.
 
    * U.S. non-farm payroll data for January will be closely
watched on Friday. The report is seen as a key barometer of the
health of the U.S. economy and will be examined for signs that
growth is strong enough to support further interest rate hikes.
    * According to a Reuters survey of economists, nonfarm
payrolls probably increased by 175,000 jobs last month, picking
up from the 156,000 jobs added in December. The unemployment
rate is expected to be unchanged at 4.7 percent in January, near
a nine-year low. 
    * The Bank of England made its latest sharp increase to
forecasts for British economic growth in 2017 on Thursday, but
appeared in no rush to raise interest rates, warning of "twists
and turns" on the road out of the European Union. 
    * Two top officials at the European Central Bank defended
its ultra-easy monetary policy on Thursday after a rebound in
inflation had upset bond markets and sparked criticism of it,
particularly in cash-rich Germany. 
    * If visibility and predictability are two foundations upon
which stable financial markets are built, comments from the
White House this week on the U.S. dollar suggest investors
should brace for increased foreign exchange volatility.
 
    * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.18 percent to
811.22 tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday. 
    * The Philippines ordered the closure on Thursday of 23
mines, mainly nickel producers that account for about half of
output in the world's top nickel ore supplier, in a government
campaign to fight environmental degradation by the industry.
 
    
      DATA AHEAD (GMT)
      0145  China        Caixin manufacturing PMI final      Jan
      0850  France        Markit services PMI                Jan
      0855  Germany       Markit services PMI                Jan
      0900  Euro zone     Markit services PMI final          Jan
      1000  Euro zone     Retail sales                       Dec
      1330  U.S.          Nonfarm payrolls                   Jan
      1330  U.S.          Unemployment rate                  Jan
      1500  U.S.          Factory orders                     Dec
      1500  U.S.          ISM non-manufacturing PMI          Jan

 (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph
Radford)

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