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Gold slips on firmer dollar; market awaits BoE policy decision

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Gold slipped further on Thursday as the dollar firmed on the back of strong economic data and Asian stocks ticked up ahead of the Bank of England's expected rate cut later in the day.

[BENGALURU] Gold slipped further on Thursday as the dollar firmed on the back of strong economic data and Asian stocks ticked up ahead of the Bank of England's expected rate cut later in the day.

Investors bet the BoE would cut interest rates for the first time in more than seven years to ward off recession following Britain's vote in June to leave the European Union.

The central bank is expected to halve its benchmark interest rate to a record low of 0.25 per cent when it makes a monthly policy statement at 1100 GMT.

Spot gold was down 0.4 per cent at US$1,351.52 an ounce by 0639 GMT, after declining 0.4 per cent in the previous session.

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US gold fell 0.5 per cent to US$1,358.30 an ounce.

"Investors are convinced that the central banks have to provide more stimulus measures sooner or later. Because of that the trading range of US$1,300-US$1,400 could be more robust in the medium term," said Mark To, head of research at Hong Kong's Wing Fung Financial Group.

"There is no quite significant breakthrough or selling to destroy the trading pattern."

Spot gold is expected to test a support at US$1,350 per ounce, a break below which could cause a loss into a range of US$1,342-US$1,346, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

The dollar bounced back from Tuesday's six-week low against a basket of six major currencies as investors looked forward to US payrolls data for July on Friday. A rebound in oil prices from four-month lows lifted Asian stocks.

The dollar index was up about 0.1 per cent at 95.655.

A report from payrolls processor ADP on Wednesday showed US private employers added 179,000 jobs in July, a tad above market expectations and bolstering hopes that Friday's non-farm payrolls data could show moderate growth in employment.

"We remain constructive on gold, at least going into Thursday's session where the BoE's expected easing could give the precious metal a bit of a lift," INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.

"However, we could run into some selling on Friday if the US non-farm payroll number exceeds estimates."

Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans on Wednesday offered a lukewarm endorsement of an interest rate increase later this year.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.03 per cent to 969.65 tonnes on Wednesday.

Among other precious metals, spot silver was down about 1 per cent at US$20.16, while spot platinum and palladium fell 0.9 per cent and 0.6 per cent to US$1,148.50 and US$704.60, respectively.

REUTERS

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