PRECIOUS-Gold eases on U.S. data, stimulus concerns
SINGAPORE, Aug 23 (Reuters) - Gold slipped in early Asian trading on Friday after strong U.S. jobs and manufacturing data raised fears of an imminent pull-back in the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures.
* Spot gold fell 0.1 percent to $1,373.56 an ounce by 0014 GMT. It is headed for a small loss for the week after a 5 percent gain last week.
* The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits last week held near a six-year low and U.S. manufacturing activity rose this month, suggesting the economy is starting to find a firmer footing.
* The U.S. economy can withstand a reduction in the Fed's stimulative asset-purchase program, even though the easy-money policies have boosted U.S. manufacturers and other companies, a top central bank official said on Thursday.
* Primary dealers surveyed before the Fed's July policy meeting said they expected the U.S. central bank to trim its asset purchases by $15 billion starting in September.
* In South Africa, labour unrest threatened to hit its struggling gold industry, already squeezed by rising costs and falling bullion prices. A strike in the gold industry could start next week following an impasse in salary talks with mining companies.
* Barrick Gold Corp, the world's largest gold producer, on Thursday said it has agreed to sell three of its high-cost gold mines in Australia to Gold Fields Ltd for $300 million.
* Gold Fields said it was not afraid of closing mines to make money, including its Damang operation in Ghana, and would revamp its business to generate profit at a spot gold price of $1,300 an ounce.
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* Global equity markets advanced on Thursday, even as trading of more than 3,000 Nasdaq-listed shares was halted for almost three hours, and bond prices fell after business surveys from around the world reflected a global economy in expansion.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0200 China Foreign direct investment 0600 Germany Q2 GDP detailed 1400 Euro zone Consumer confidence 1400 U.S. New home sales
Precious metals prices 0014 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1373.56 -1.68 -0.12 -17.97 Spot Silver 23.09 -0.02 -0.09 -23.75 Spot Platinum 1534.24 -2.26 -0.15 -0.05 Spot Palladium 751.47 -0.03 -0.00 8.59 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1373.30 2.50 +0.18 -18.05 2882 COMEX SILVER SEP3 23.11 0.07 +0.33 -23.74 784 Euro/Dollar 1.3345 Dollar/Yen 98.89
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Richard Pullin)