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PRECIOUS-Gold extends drop as U.S. jobs data spurs taper fears

Sunday, 10 Nov 2013 | 7:31 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Nov 11 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Monday to trade near three-week lows after an unexpectedly strong U.S. jobs report reignited fears the Federal Reserve could begin scaling back its support for the economy soon.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold fell 0.2 percent to $1,286.19 an ounce by 0020 GMT. It lost 1.7 percent on Friday - the metal's biggest one-day drop in more than a month.

* Data from the U.S. Labor Department showed employers added 204,000 new jobs to their payrolls last month, well above estimates of 125,000, showing resilience of the economy despite a partial government shutdown.

* Investors are watching key data on the U.S. economy to gauge when the Fed could begin tapering its $85 billion monthly bond purchases. They fear that strong data would prompt the U.S. central bank to cut back purchases before the end of the year.

* Barrick Gold Corp signaled on Friday that founder and Chairman Peter Munk will likely leave the board at next year's annual meeting, a move that sources say is intended to persuade reluctant investors to buy into the miner's $3 billion equity offering.

* About 2,300 South African mineworkers staged an underground sit-in at Anglo American Platinum's Dishaba mine, saying they will not leave until a suspended union leader is reinstated, the company said on Sunday.

* Hedge funds and money managers broadly cut bullish bets in futures and options of U.S. gold, silver and copper in the week to Nov. 5, a report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on Friday.

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MARKET NEWS

* The U.S. dollar held near two-month highs against a basket of major currencies early on Monday, while Asian shares edged away from a four-week low.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0500 Japan Economy watchers survey 0900 Italy Industrial output

Precious metals prices 0020 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1286.19 -2.41 -0.19 -23.19 Spot Silver 21.35 -0.11 -0.51 -29.49 Spot Platinum 1438.50 0.00 +0.00 -6.29 Spot Palladium 754.47 -1.50 -0.20 9.03 COMEX GOLD DEC3 1286.20 1.60 +0.12 -23.25 2214 COMEX SILVER DEC3 21.40 0.08 +0.37 -29.40 546 Euro/Dollar 1.3357 Dollar/Yen 99.13

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

(Reporting by A. Ananthalakshmi; Editing by Ed Davies)