PRECIOUS-Gold flat as dollar holds firm ahead of U.S. jobs data

Oct 7 (Reuters) – Gold prices were flat on Thursday as the dollar held firm, as investors moved to the sidelines ahead of a U.S. payrolls report that is expected to provide clues on the Federal Reserve’s tapering timeline.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was flat at $1,761.36 per ounce by 0118 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were little changed at $1,763.10.

* The dollar held close to a one-year high, touched last week, making gold less appealing to those holding other currencies.

* Overnight, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries eased off a more than three-month high, but remained above 1.5%.

* U.S. nonfarm payrolls data, due on Friday, is expected to show an improvement in the labour market, important criteria for the Federal Reserve to start withdrawing pandemic-era support for the economy.

* Reduced stimulus and higher interest rates lift bond yields, translating into increased opportunity costs of holding bullion that pays no interest.

* Data on Wednesday showed that U.S. private payrolls increased more than expected in September as COVID-19 infections started subsiding, boosting hiring at restaurants and other high-contact businesses.

* The U.S. Senate appeared near to a temporary deal to avert a federal debt default in the next two weeks, after Democrats said they might accept a Republican proposal to defuse the partisan standoff that threatens the broader economy.

* Spot silver was unchanged at $22.59 per ounce, platinum fell 0.2% to $982.01, and palladium rose 0.6% to $1,899.73. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 UK Halifax House Prices MM Sept 0600 Germany Industrial Output MM Aug 0645 France Reserve Assets Total Sept 1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly

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