Dec 3 (Reuters) - Gold was set for a third straight weekly
drop on Friday, weighed down by signals from Federal Reserve
officials that the central bank could end its pandemic-era asset
purchases and raise interest rates faster than expected to
combat surging inflation.
* Spot gold rose 0.1% to $1,771.04 per ounce by 0056
GMT after hitting its lowest in nearly a month on Thursday. The
metal has declined 1.3% so far in the week.
* U.S. gold futures gained 0.5% to $1,770.90.
* U.S. Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Raphael
Bostic told the Reuters Next conference on Thursday it would be
appropriate to end the central bank's bond-buying programme by
the end of March to allow the Fed the option to raise rates to
deal with inflation.
* Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push
government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of
non-interest bearing gold.
* U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Reuters Next it
was the Fed's job to ensure that the current run of high
inflation does not evolve into a damaging and long-lasting
* Euro zone inflation remains temporary, two key European
Central Bank policymakers argued on Thursday, even as U.S.
officials made the case this week for abandoning the use of
"transitory" to describe current price pressures.
* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment
benefits increased less than expected last week, pointing to
tightening labour market conditions, while layoffs tumbled to
the lowest level in 28-1/2 years in November.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell about 0.5% to
986.17 tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday.
* Spot silver rose 0.1% to $22.40 an ounce. Platinum
fell 0.3% to $934.99, while palladium increased
0.1% to $1,784.09.
0900 EU Markit Serv, Comp Final PMIs Nov
1330 US Non-Farm Payrolls Nov
1500 US ISM Non-Mfg PMI Nov
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu