PRECIOUS-Gold dips ahead of U.S. jobs data

Feb 2 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down early on Friday ahead of U.S. jobs data due later in the day as traders looked for guidance on the course of monetary policy for the remainder of the year.


* Spot gold dipped 0.1 percent to $1,346.90 per ounce at 0109 GMT, and has fallen 0.1 percent so far this week.

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,350.60 per ounce.

* Traders are looking to the U.S. government's jobs report on Friday. Nonfarm payrolls probably rose by 180,000 jobs in January after increasing 148,000 in December, according to a Reuters survey of economists. The unemployment rate is forecast to be unchanged at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent.

* Stronger-than-expected jobs data, lower unemployment and higher wages would signal strength in the economy, and could in turn strengthen the dollar and pressure gold, analysts say.

* The U.S. Federal Reserve held interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" rate increases.

* A survey on Thursday showed eurozone manufacturing continued to boom last month, supporting expectations that the European Central Bank is on track to normalise monetary policy.

* Sibanye-Stillwater said on Thursday that over

1,000 miners were stuck underground at its Beatrix gold mine in South Africa after a storm knocked out power, but they were not in danger.

* India said on Thursday it expected economic growth to surge above 8 percent as it announced a 2018/19 budget that allocated billions of dollars for rural infrastructure and unveiled a health insurance programme for around 500 million poor.

* Gold consumption in China grew by 9.41 percent from the previous year to 1,089 tonnes in 2017, state television CCTV reported on Thursday, citing figures from the China Gold Association.

* Acacia Mining has spent $2 million to lock in the option to sell 120,000 ounces of its gold output at $1,320 an ounce, hedging against lower prices to offset the impact of a government ban on concentrate exports.

* U.S. fund investors cashed out of cash funds and stocked up on stocks in the latest week, ignoring a setback in markets and taking on more risk, Lipper data showed on Thursday.


1000 Euro zone Producer prices Dec 1330 U.S. Nonfarm payrolls Jan 1330 U.S. Unemployment rate Jan 1445 U.S. ISM-New York index Jan 1500 U.S. Factory orders Dec

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)