* Investors await clues on pace of U.S. monetary tightening
* SPDR Gold Trust holdings at lowest since March 2016
* Platinum rallies to 3-1/2-month high
(Recasts; updates prices; adds comment, byline, NEW YORK dateline) NEW YORK/JOHANNESBURG, Aug 8 (Reuters) - Gold fell to a two-week low on Tuesday after U.S. jobs data came in better than expected and the dollar turned positive, while investors awaited U.S. inflation figures later this week for further clues about the pace of interest rate rises.
Spot gold was down 0.1 percent at $1,255.81 an ounce
lowest since July 26 and just above the 50-day moving average.
U.S. gold futures settled down 0.2 percent at
$1,262.60. "We saw better-than-expected jobs data. This caused the dollar to jump and that put pressure on the gold market," said Phillip Streible, senior commodities broker for RJO Futures in Chicago. U.S. job openings jumped to a record high in June, outpacing
hiring and lifting the U.S. dollar against a basket of
major currencies. A stronger dollar increases the cost for buyers of commodities such as gold who are outside the United States. Investors took note of news from Japan, which said on Tuesday it was possible that North Korea had already developed nuclear warheads. Geopolitical risks can boost demand for safe haven assets such as gold. Investors awaited U.S. inflation data this week as well as clues as to when the U.S. Federal Reserve will begin reducing its $4.2 trillion bond portfolio. Inflation is a key economic factor the U.S. central bank considers when deciding monetary policy. A strong U.S. inflation reading could raise expectations for future interest rate increases, which would put pressure on non-yielding bullion. "Given the move towards tighter monetary policy ... the developing bullish chart picture may be a warning that investors are buying more gold as an insurance against heightened risk of trouble ahead," ScotiaBank analysts said in a note. Stocks across the globe were little changed after touching a record high.
Holdings at the SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest
gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell a slight 0.03 percent to 786.87 tonnes on Monday, the lowest since March 2016.
In other precious metals, platinum was 0.3 percent
higher at $966.70 per ounce, after touching its highest since April 21 at $978.10. "Platinum is being supported by strong fundamentals as supply in comparison to demand is a little weak," said Yuichi Ikemizu, Tokyo branch manager at ICBC Standard Bank.
Palladium rose 1.2 percent to $896.50 per ounce, while silver rose 1 percent to $16.40 per ounce.
(Additional reporting by Nithin Prasad and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; editing by David Clarke and Chizu Nomiyama)