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Gold Hits more than One-Week Low, Firmer Dollar Dents Appeal

* Investors await U.S. jobs data due on Friday

* Progress made on inflation goal, says Fed’s Barkin

* Gold to resume downward trend this week, says analyst

June 29 (Reuters) - Gold prices fell to a more than one-week low on Tuesday, dented by the dollar’s gains and with the focus turning to U.S. jobs report that could offer a clearer picture on the Federal Reserve’s next move on monetary policy.

Spot gold was down 0.5% at $1,768.90 per ounce by 0832 GMT, after touching $1,766.20, its lowest since June 21, earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures fell 0.7% to $1,767.80.

“Market participants are reluctant to build new positions due to gold’s repeated failure to break above the psychologically important $1,800 level, upcoming labour market data and inflation,” Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritsch said.

He said the dollar level was still pretty strong and hampering gold.

The U.S. Labor Department is expected to report a gain of 690,000 jobs in June, compared with 559,000 in May, and an unemployment rate of 5.7% versus 5.8% in the previous month, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Thomas Barkin said, the Fed had made “substantial further progress” towards its inflation goal in order to begin tapering asset purchases.

Gold is often seen as a hedge against inflation, although a rate hike by the Fed would increase the opportunity cost of holding bullion and dull its appeal.

The dollar index rose 0.2%, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

“Bearish pressure may continue this week ... Expect gold to resume its downward trend this week as risk sentiment firms and markets continue to look towards the prospects of tightening monetary conditions from the Fed,” Howie Lee, an economist at OCBC Bank, said in a note.

Silver fell 0.6% to $25.93 per ounce, platinum slipped 1.2% to $1,076.87, and palladium shed 0.7% to $2,667.97.

(Reporting by Arundhati Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Edmund Blair)

Source: Reuters

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