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PRECIOUS-Gold jumps on dollar slide, slow U.S. labor market recovery
Published at 13/08/2020 at 19:28

* Dollar dips to near 1-week low

* At least 28 million people still receiving unemployment checks

* Silver gains as much as 8.4%

* Fed officials warn of muted U.S. growth until virus is contained

* Interactive graphic tracking global spread of coronavirus: open in an external browser

(Updates prices)

By Sumita Layek

Aug 13 (Reuters) - Gold jumped as much as 2.5% on Thursday, rebounding from a near three-week low hit in the last session, as the dollar dipped and a slow recovery in the U.S. labor market reinforced the economic toll from the coronavirus pandemic.

Spot gold rose 1.9% to $1,954.37 per ounce by 2:04 pm EDT (1804 GMT), having slipped below $1,900 on Wednesday. U.S. gold futures settled up 1.1% to $1,970.40.

U.S. jobless claims dropped below one million last week for the first time since the start of the pandemic, though at least 28 million people are still receiving unemployment checks, indicating a weak labor market.

"The dollar has been quite weak ... this recovery we've had (in the labor market) has been the low-hanging fruit. It's an easy bounce," said Edward Meir, analyst at ED&F Man Capital Markets.

"The initial claims are still running at a very high rate, and there is still a long way to go," Meir said.

The dollar was down 0.2% against rivals, its lowest in nearly a week, bolstering gold's appeal for those holding other currencies, as Washington continues to remain in a stalemate over additional stimulus.

Adding to the gloomy outlook, Federal Reserve policymakers warned U.S. growth would be muted until the coronavirus was contained.

Investors are now eyeing a meeting between the United States and China on Aug. 15 that aims to review the Phase 1 trade deal.

"The underlying factors in the market have not changed significantly. The fact that gold did not move still higher when Sino-U.S. tensions escalated over the weekend signaled that most of the tailwinds were priced in," said StoneX analyst Rhona O'Connell in a note.

"Investor sentiment remains robust overall."

Elsewhere, silver gained as much as 8.4% and was up 6.6% to $27.25 per ounce, platinum gained 2.7% to $956.53 and palladium climbed 1.9% to $2,170.68.

(Reporting by Sumita Layek in Bengaluru Editing by Sonya Hepinstall)

((Sumita.Layek@thomsonreuters.com; Within U.S. +1 646 223 8780, Outside U.S. +91 8061822693; Reuters Messaging: Sumita.Layek.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))