REUTERS - Gold recovered from its lowest since early February on Friday as the dollar drifted lower ahead of U.S. jobs data, but the metal is still on track for a fourth consecutive weekly decline.
Spot gold was up 0.2 percent at $1,173.76 an ounce by 0248 GMT. The metal fell to its lowest since Feb. 5 at $1,160.38 in the previous session.
For the week, gold was trading down 0.7 percent.
U.S. gold futures gained 0.5 percent at $1,175.60 per ounce.
"These movements in gold can be tied to the dollar," said Ronald Leung, chief dealer at Lee Cheong Gold Dealers in Hong Kong.
"There is a bit of buying in the physical side, but that has not been really aggressive."
The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, fell 0.2 percent on Friday to 100.850 as investors remained wary ahead of U.S. payrolls data due later in the day.
The dollar has scaled back from near 14-year highs of 102.05 hit on Nov. 24 on the back of a surge in U.S. Treasury yields triggered by expectations of higher fiscal impulse and faster pace of monetary tightening under president-elect Donald Trump.
Several Federal Reserve policymakers have since expressed confidence in the U.S. economy and signalled a possible near-term interest rate hike.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar.
"People are rushing to the stock market rather than the gold markets. That is evident in the liquidation we are seeing in the exchange traded funds (ETFs)," Leung of Lee Cheong Gold Dealers added.
Holdings of the largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust, fell 1.54 percent to 870.22 tonnes on Thursday. Holdings have fallen over 6 percent last month.
Spot gold may bounce moderately into a range of $1,184 to $1,194 per ounce, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Silver was 0.3 percent higher at $16.56 an ounce and platinum was up 0.4 percent at $914.35.
Both metals were on track for a first weekly rise in four weeks.
Palladium gained 0.6 percent at $754.65 an ounce after scaling its highest level since June 2015 at $774.60 in the previous session. It was set to rise for a fifth straight week.
(Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Nallur Sethuraman; Editing by Richard Pullin)