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Gold flat ahead of US payrolls data, set for 2nd weekly drop

PRECIOUS-Gold flat ahead of US payrolls data, set for 2nd weekly drop

May 3 (Reuters)Gold prices were set for a second consecutive weekly fall, even as bullion traded almost flat on Friday as investors refrained from taking big positions ahead of U.S. non-farm payrolls data that could offer more cues on the Federal Reserve’s policy path.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was nearly unchanged at $2,302.51 per ounce, as of 0046 GMT. Prices were down more than 1% this week.

* U.S. gold futures GCcv1 were flat at $2,310.40 per ounce.

* The non-farm payrolls report is due at 1230 GMT.

* The U.S. central bank held interest rates steady on Wednesday and indicated it is still leaning towards eventual reductions in borrowing costs, but put a red flag on recent disappointing inflation readings that could make those rate cuts a while in coming.

* Bullion is known as an inflation hedge, but elevated interest rates reduce the appeal of holding the non-yielding asset.

* Data on Thursday showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits held steady at a low level last week, pointing to a still fairly tight labour market that should continue to underpin the economy in the second quarter.

* SPDR Gold Trust GLD, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.17% to 829.60 tonnes on Thursday from 831.04 tonnes on Wednesday.

* Spot silver XAG= fell 0.2% to $26.65 per ounce and was down nearly 2% for the week.

* Platinum XPT= gained nearly 0.8% to $957.15 and was on track for a weekly gain. Palladium XPD= edged up 0.2% to $937.57.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0830 UK S&P Global PMI: Composite – Output April

0830 UK Reserve Assets Total April

0900 EU Unemployment Rate March

1230 US Non-Farm Payrolls April

1230 US Employment Rate April

1345 US S&P Global Comp, Svcs Final PMI April

1400 US ISM N-Mfg PMI April

Reporting by Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu


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