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PRECIOUS-Gold dips on caution ahead of U.S. jobs data
Published at 02/08/2021 at 08:38

* Gold facing strong resistance at $1,837/oz - analyst

* Dollar off one-month trough

(Adds comment, updates prices)

By Eileen Soreng

Aug 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices edged lower on Monday, with cautious investors eyeing July's non-farm payrolls due later this week to gauge the health of the labour market, while stronger equities also dimmed bullion's appeal.

Spot gold fell 0.3% to $1,807.54 per ounce by 0718 GMT. On Friday, prices retreated from a two-week peak, after the dollar recovered slightly from a one-month low.

However, the dollar index was down 0.8% last week, its worst weekly performance in over two months.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,810.90.

"The market is fearful of a stronger payroll (data), which will make the dollar stronger... It will probably keep them from strapping on a lot of interest rate sensitive risks," said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

The data will give investors more insight into the timeline for policy tapering, he added.

Economists in a Reuters poll forecast a 926,000 job increase in July's non-farm payroll numbers, due on Friday.

The health of the labour market is an important prerequisite for the U.S. Federal Reserve to taper monetary stimulus.

Chairman Jerome Powell said last week interest rate hikes were "ways away" and the job market still had "some ground to cover," which sent gold jumping more than 1% last Thursday.

Lower interest rates reduce the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

Asian shares recouped some of their recent steep losses as beaten-down Chinese markets attracted retail bargain hunters.

"If the equity market sees a correction we can see an upside move in gold," said Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president, commodity research at SMC Comtradem, adding that $1,837 is a very strong resistance and there a lack of trigger to help gold break the resistance.

Silver was flat at $25.46, palladium rose 0.3% to $2,668.70 and platinum gained 0.7% to $1,056.32.

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng and Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Rashmi Aich)

((eileen.soreng@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 80 6749 6131; Reuters Messaging: eileen.soreng.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))