Gold steady ahead of U.S. jobs data, but heads for best week since March



Oct 7 (Reuters) - Gold prices held steady on Friday ahead of the U.S. jobs report that could help investors gauge the Federal Reserve's rate-hike path, and were headed for their biggest weekly gain since March.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was little changed at $1,709.69 per ounce, as of 0123 GMT.

* Prices have risen about 3% so far in the week, helped by a retreat in the dollar and Treasury yields from multi-year peaks.

* U.S. gold futures GCv1 were flat at $1,719.90.

* The dollar index =USD and benchmark U.S. 10-year Treasury yields US10YT=RR were steady after rising overnight.

* Investors are now focused on the U.S. nonfarm payrolls report due later in the day, with economists forecasting 250,000 jobs to have been added last month, compared with 315,000 in August.

* New Federal Reserve Governor Lisa Cook on Thursday added her voice to the U.S. central bank's broad consensus for continued interest rate hikes.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased by the most in four months last week, but the labour market remains tight even as demand for labour is cooling amid higher interest rates.

* The German government expects Europe's largest economy to slide into recession next year as an energy crisis, rising prices and supply bottlenecks take their toll, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, citing provisional figures.

* The Perth Mint's sales of gold products in September rose 4.2% month-on-month, while silver sales jumped to their highest in seven years, the refiner said in a blog post.

* Spot silver XAG= fell 0.4% to $20.56 per ounce, platinum XPT= dipped 0.4% to $918.38 and palladium XPD= dropped 0.6% to $2,247.62.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 Germany Industrial Output MM

Aug

0600 Germany Industrial Production YY

Aug

0600 UK

Halifax House Prices MM, YY Sept

0645 France Reserve Assets Total

Sept

1230 US

Non-Farm Payrolls

Sept

1230 US

Unemployment Rate

Sept
Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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