Gold prices held steady on Monday, after plunging in the previous session on China's central bank pausing purchases and a robust U.S. jobs data dousing hopes of an imminent interest rate cut.

Spot gold was unchanged at $2,296.17 per ounce, as of 0751 GMT. U.S. gold futures fell 0.5% to $2,313.30.

Bullion declined 3.5% on Friday in its biggest one-day drop since November 2020 after a stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs report and China's central bank pausing gold purchases to its reserves in May after 18 consecutive months of buying.

"The medium-term bullish trend that was in picture since last week or so has now a chance of being damaged from a technical perspective," said Kelvin Wong, a senior market analyst for Asia Pacific at OANDA.

Bets of the Federal Reserve cutting rates in September fell to around 50% from around 70% before the jobs data.

"We expect a lift in the Federal Reserve's median "dots plots" to two cuts in 2024 (from three); but inflation should still moderate, and a September cut is our base case," said UBS in a note.

The Fed is not expected to make any change at its policy meeting, but the focus will be on comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell and changes to economic projections from policymakers. U.S. inflation data is also due on Wednesday.

"Unless the dot plot pricing starts to be very less dovish, that means the Fed does not expect any cut being pencilled in this year at all, you could drastically see a tremendous sell-off in gold because that could push U.S. 10-year Treasury yields higher," Wong said.

Spot silver rose 1.4% to $29.58 per ounce, platinum was up 1% at $973.40 and palladium gained 0.2% to $914.21.

(Reporting by Sherin Elizabeth Varghese in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Swati Verma; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Varun H K)