PRECIOUS-Gold drops on strong U.S jobs growth, stimulus fears
SINGAPORE, July 8 (Reuters) - Gold fell for a third session on Monday on fears the U.S. Federal Reserve could soon begin tapering its bond-buying stimulus after a stronger-than-expected jobs report.
* Spot gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,219.31 an ounce by 0004 GMT following a 2 percent decline on Friday.
* Comex gold was higher by about $6 at $1,218.30.
* U.S. employers added 195,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, exceeding expectations of 165,000, the Labor Department said on Friday, cementing expectations the Fed will start winding down its $85 billion monthly bond purchases.
* The Fed is likely to begin shrinking the size of its debt purchase program, intended to prop up economic growth and support the labor market, by September, according to the majority of economists at large Wall Street firms.
* Gold posted its biggest quarterly loss on record, down 23 percent for April-June and hit a near 3-year low of $1,180.71 last month, after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the economy was recovering strongly enough for the bank to begin tapering.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.28 percent to 961.99 tonnes on Friday.
* China's May gold imports from Hong Kong jumped more than a third from the previous month as lower prices attracted buyers in the world's second biggest bullion consumer.
* Jewellers in India are banking on a growing appetite for diamonds in the country and resilient demand for gold among its non-residents to offset a slowdown caused by a government clampdown on imports of the precious metal.
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* The U.S. dollar hit a fresh three-year high against a basket of major currencies in Asia on Monday as market expectations grew that the Fed will scale back stimulus as early as September following solid jobs growth.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany Trade data 0830 Euro zone Sentix index 1000 Germany Industrial output 1300 ECB Chief Mario Draghi attends EU parliament hearing 1900 U.S. Consumer credit
Precious metals prices 0004 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1219.31 -4.00 -0.33 -27.19 Spot Silver 18.88 0.02 +0.11 -37.65 Spot Platinum 1327.50 4.00 +0.30 -13.52 Spot Palladium 683.75 5.75 +0.85 -1.19 COMEX GOLD AUG3 1218.30 5.60 +0.46 -27.30 5079 COMEX SILVER SEP3 18.86 0.12 +0.64 -37.78 Euro/Dollar 1.2817 Dollar/Yen 101.38
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)