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PRECIOUS-Gold dips on firmer dollar after positive US jobs data

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down early on Monday on a firmer dollar after robust U.S. jobs data late last week, but a fall in equities cushioned losses.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold had dipped 0.1 percent to $1,331.80 per ounce by 0051 GMT.

* Spot gold on Friday fell 1.2 percent, its biggest one-day fall since Dec. 7. Last week, the metal saw its largest weekly decline since the week-ending Dec. 8.

* U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,336 per ounce.

* Non-farm payrolls rose by 200,000 jobs in January, the U.S. Labor Department said, beating expectation of 180,000 and their largest annual gain in more than 8-1/2 years. Average hourly earnings rose and boosted the year-on-year increase to 2.9 percent, the largest rise since June 2009.

* Futures markets reacted by pricing in the risk of three, or even more, rate rises from the U.S. Federal Reserve this year.

* The Fed last week held interest rates unchanged, but raised its inflation outlook and flagged "further gradual" rate increases.

* Against a basket of currencies, the dollar was steady at

89.176 having climbed 0.6 percent on Friday for its

biggest single day gain in three months.

* Asian share markets stumbled on Monday as fears of resurgent inflation battered bonds, toppled Wall Street from record highs and sparked speculation central banks globally might be forced to tighten more aggressively.

* Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long position in COMEX gold contracts in the week to Jan. 30 to their highest level since late-September, while they also raised their net long position in silver contracts, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.

* All the miners who were trapped underground for more than 24 hours after a storm knocked out powerlines supplying electricity to the Beatrix gold mine in South Africa have been rescued, operator Sibanye-Stillwater SGLJ.J said on Friday.

* Demand for physical gold improved this week in India as jewelers resumed purchases after the government kept import taxes on the precious metal unchanged, while buying remained subdued in most other centers in Asia.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0145 China Caixin services PMI Jan 0850 France Markit services PMI Jan 0855 Germany Markit services PMI Jan 0900 Euro zone Markit services PMI final Jan 0930 Euro zone Sentix index Feb 1000 Euro zone Retail sales Dec 1500 U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI Jan

(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru Editing by Joseph Radford)