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PRECIOUS-Gold dips as U.S. jobs data bolsters dollar

* U.S. private sector adds more jobs than expected in May

* Palladium retreats from four-week highs hit on Wednesday

(Adds U.S. data, updates prices) LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Gold dipped on Thursday, pressured by a slightly firmer dollar on the back of the first tranche of U.S. data due to provide further clues on whether interest rates will rise this month. U.S. private employers added 253,000 jobs in May, above economists' expectations, a report by a payrolls processor showed on Thursday. The ADP figures come ahead of the U.S. Labor Department's more comprehensive non-farm payrolls report on Friday, which includes both public and private-sector employment. "We are getting important data today and tomorrow, and gold is very much dependent on how the dollar and yields will react to that data, so it's a bit of a waiting game," said Georgette Boele, commodities strategist at ABN AMRO in Amsterdam.

Spot gold was down 0.4 percent at $1,263.46 an ounce

since April 25 at $1,273.74.

U.S. gold futures fell 0.7 percent to $1,263.

Also weighing on gold was the slightly firmer dollar index , which extended gains after the ADP data, already supported by higher U.S. Treasury yields and solidifying expectations of a rise in U.S. interest rates this month. Positive payroll data from the United States could mean the Fed will raise rates as expected at its June 13-14 meeting. Traders believe there is an 87 percent chance of a rate rise, according to CME Group's FedWatch tool. "Market participants are cautious ahead of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting next month," said Hareesh V, head of research at Geofin Comtrade. Gold, which has gained about 10 percent this year, has good support slightly below current levels, Boele said. "Gold looks very well protected around the $1,250 area at the moment. You have the 200-day moving average supporting the price," she added. Demand for American Eagle gold coins remains lackluster, data from the U.S. Mint showed, with sales for the first five months of the year tumbling 56 percent from the same period last year to 186,500 ounces.

Among other precious metals, silver fell 0.9 percent to $17.13 an ounce and platinum shed 1.3 percent to $931. Palladium , which hit a four-week high at $821.90 an

ounce on Wednesday, retreated by 0.6 percent to $821.70.

(Additional reporting by Vijaykumar Vedala in Bengaluru; Editing by David Evans and David Goodman)