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Gold prices edge down on steady dollar, firmer stocks


Gold inched lower on Monday as the dollar steadied and as Asian equities firmed following stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs data late last week that reinforced expectations of another interest rate hike in the United States.

"The dollar's strength was definitely a negative for gold, as was the fact that yields on both sides of the Atlantic remained elevated," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir.

Spot gold had fallen 0.2 percent to $1,210.94 per ounce at 0433 GMT. The metal fell more than 2 percent last week, touching its lowest since March 15 at $1,207.15 an ounce.

U.S. gold futures for August delivery were nearly flat at $1,210.10 per ounce.

"There was some physical interest from Asia in early trading, but I expect that demand to be transitory," said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA.

"Looking at the charts, it's still very much in bearish consolidation."

Data on Friday showed U.S. non-farm payrolls jumped by 222,000 jobs last month, beating expectations of a 179,000 gain.

The dollar steadied and Asian equities remained supported by Friday's data. A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for buyers outside the United States.

The market also awaited U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's testimony on Thursday which could provide further hints on the central bank's stance on interest rates.

Dollar-denominated bullion typically loses value when the greenback and interest rates rise as it does not pay interest.

Spot gold may fall more to $1,204 per ounce, as suggested by its wave pattern and a Fibonacci projection analysis, according to Reuters technical analyst, Wang Tao.

"If (treasury) yields in the U.S. and Europe move higher, that will most likely cap any gains in gold and will test the downside again," Halley said.

Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.63 percent to 835.35 tonnes on Friday from 840.67 tonnes on Thursday.

Hedge funds and money managers in the week to July 3 reduced their net long positions in COMEX gold and silver for a fourth straight week, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.5 percent to $15.50 per ounce. In the previous session, it touched $14.86 an ounce, its lowest in 15 months in what appeared to have been driven by an accidental order, according to traders.

Palladium was almost unchanged at $838.45 per ounce after hitting its lowest since June 2 on Friday, while platinum declined 0.3 percent to $901.24 per ounce.

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