(Reuters) - Spot gold edged higher on Monday after surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data sent prices down nearly 2 percent in the previous session, as investors shifted focus to a looming deadline for Greece to accept the terms of a new bailout deal.


* Spot gold edged up 0.2 percent to $1,728.90 an ounce by 0034 GMT, after finishing the previous week down 0.7 percent.

* U.S. gold lost half a percent to $1,731.60.

* U.S. unemployment rate in January unexpectedly fell to a near three-year low and job creation was at its fastest pace in nine months, boosting confidence in the recovery of the world's largest economy.

* The encouraging U.S. jobs data boosted the dollar and equities, but bullion saw its biggest daily fall in more than a month on Friday as the data dampened hopes on fresh quantitative easing measures.

* But the uncertainty in the euro zone debt crisis remained supportive of safe-haven appetite in gold, as Greece approaches a deadline on Monday on whether to accept the painful terms of a new bailout deal.

* Money managers, including hedge funds and other large speculators, increased their bullish bets in gold, silver and copper futures and options in the week of January 31, as prices of all three metals rose to multi-month highs.

* Expectations of limited upside in prices of gold could dent imports into India, pushing shipments down by a fourth in the March quarter, with prices remaining steady below last year's record till June-end, a Reuters poll revealed.


0930 EZ Sentix index Feb

1100 Germany Industrial orders Dec

1500 US Employment trend index Jan


Precious metals prices 0034 GMT

Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume

Spot Gold 1728.90 3.10 +0.18 10.56

Spot Silver 33.54 -0.05 -0.15 21.13

Spot Platinum 1616.24 -1.26 -0.08 16.03

Spot Palladium 702.47 -2.53 -0.36 7.66

COMEX GOLD APR2 1731.60 -8.70 -0.50 10.52 2624

COMEX SILVER MAR2 33.57 -0.18 -0.53 20.26 307

Euro/Dollar 1.3107

Dollar/Yen 76.47

COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months

(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Himani Sarkar)