* Spot gold may fall to $1,316/oz - technicals
* Silver off over 1-month lows
* Platinum off 2-week lows hit Friday
(Adds comment, updates prices) Feb 5 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched up on Monday as declining equities lent support to the yellow metal even though robust U.S. jobs data potentially increased the chances of more interest rate hikes this year.
Spot gold was up 0.1 percent at $1,334.23 per ounce
biggest one-day fall since Dec. 7, 2017. The metal posted its biggest weekly drop since the week ended Dec. 8, 2017.
U.S. gold futures were steady at $1,337 per ounce.
"A better-than-expected Chinese Caxin services PMI number pushed the gold price lower (early in the session) ... While the equity markets rout deepens, we expect the money flow to favor the gold price," said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets. China's services sector got off to a flying start in 2018, expanding at its fastest pace in almost six years as new orders surged and companies rushed to hire more staff, a private survey showed on Monday. Asian shares fell the most in over a year on Monday as fears of resurgent inflation battered bonds, toppled Wall Street from record highs and sparked speculation that central banks globally might be forced to tighten policy more aggressively. Non-farm payrolls rose by 200,000 jobs in January, the U.S. Labor Department said, beating expectations 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 on Friday after the jobs
data 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. "We have a bearish outlook for gold ... yield-chasing behavior and a rosy economic outlook should pressure the yellow metal lower," said OCBC analyst Barnabas Gan. "The higher interest rate environment will actually fuel further risk-taking and is not good for gold." Meanwhile, 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, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.
Spot silver climbed 0.8 percent to $16.72. Earlier,
it touched $16.54, matching a more than one-month low hit on Friday. Silver fell 3.7 percent on Friday in its worst one-day decline since Dec. 15, 2016. It also saw its worst week since the week ended July 7, 2017, shedding 4.6 percent last week.
Platinum rose 0.1 percent to $987.95, after touching
more than two-week low at $982 on Friday.
Palladium fell 1.4 percent to $1,032.24.
(Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in BengaluruEditing by Joseph Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)