PRECIOUS-Gold gains on weak U.S. economic data, investors eye jobs report

Diptendu Lahiri

* Platinum on track to post its biggest weekly decline since May

* Palladium to post its first weekly loss after gaining for eight

* U.S. non-farm payroll data due at 1230 GMT (Adds comments, details; Updates prices)

Oct 4 (Reuters) - Gold prices rose for a fourth straight session on Friday as weak U.S. economic data fanned fears over sluggish growth, with investors awaiting a key jobs report that could cement expectations for further rate cuts by the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was up 0.3% to $1,508.90 per ounce, as of 0339 GMT. It climbed to $1,518.50, its highest since Sept. 25, in the previous session.

U.S. gold futures were flat at $1,515.10 an ounce.

ANZ analyst Daniel Hynes said the disappointing economic indicators from the United States in the past couple of days were supporting safe-haven buying.

"If we see weaker than expected nonfarm payroll data as well, that will support gold prices and the momentum will be pretty strong provided it is backed up by Fed's dovishness," he added.

U.S. services sector activity slowed to a three-year low in September amid rising concerns about tariffs, a survey showed on Thursday, following a string of poor economic data earlier this week.

Focus now is on a U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due at 1230 GMT.

Two Fed policymakers on Thursday signalled they are open to delivering another rate cut, while Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said the central bank "will act as appropriate to sustain a low unemployment rate and solid growth and stable inflation."

Lower interest rates decrease the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and weigh on the dollar.

The U.S. dollar was marginally lower against a basket of major currencies.

Meanwhile on the trade front, a new 25% U.S. tariffs on Italian cheese, French wine, Scotch whisky and thousands of other European food products will lead to higher prices ahead of the holiday season and cost American jobs, trade groups said on Thursday.

Gold is considered a safe store of value during economic and political uncertainty.

Spot gold may end its bounce around a resistance at $1,514 per ounce, as suggested by a retracement analysis and a falling channel, according to Reuters analyst Wang Tao.

Among other precious metals, platinum fell 0.6% to $885.13 per ounce, on track to post its biggest weekly decline since May, having fallen more than 4% so far this week, while silver gained 0.3% to $17.61 per ounce.

Palladium rose 0.2% to $1,656.20 per ounce, but still set to post its first weekly loss after gaining for eight. Prices are down about 1.5% so far this week. (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)