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Gold holds losses after Powell speech,
Focus on US jobs data

(Reuters) - Gold held onto earlier losses on Tuesday as investors digested comments from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and looked forward to U.S. jobs data due later this week for more signals on U.S. interest rate cuts.

Spot gold was down 0.2% at $2,326.38 per ounce by 10:30 a.m. (14:30 GMT). U.S. gold futures fell 0.14% to $2,335.60.

"The market is still highly sensitive to any discussion about interest rates or anything with regards to Fed policy. So, I think it's more still in a wait-and-see type momentum," said Phillip Streible, chief market strategist at Blue Line Futures.

The U.S. central bank still needs more data before cutting interest rates to ensure recent weaker inflation readings give a true picture of what is happening to underlying price pressures, Powell said.

Data on Tuesday showed U.S. job openings rose to 8.14 million in May.

Focus now shifts to Friday's non-farm payrolls, which will be crucial in assessing whether the U.S. labor market remains resilient against the backdrop of decades-high interest rates.

Gold is down 5% from a record high of $2,449.89 per ounce it touched on May 20, a rally caused by safe-haven demand driven by geopolitical and economic uncertainty as well as persistent central bank buying, a crucial category of demand.

"Physical demand is still subdued in major markets like India and Turkey but there are signs of recovery there as consumers are keen to protect against other factors like local inflation which still remains high," one trader said.

Elsewhere, spot silver rose 0.8% to $29.64 per ounce. Platinum gained 2.4% to $1,001.35 per ounce and palladium jumped 3.7% to $1,007.50 with the focus on improved prospects for hybrid car sales versus slower growth of palladium-free electric vehicles market.

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