PRECIOUS-Gold extends gains on ECB rate cut hopes
SINGAPORE, Dec 7 (Reuters) - Gold nudged higher on Friday, extending gains from the previous session when bullion was boosted by prospects of future interest cuts by the European Central Bank, but the precious metal was headed for its second straight week of decline. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold inched up 0.2 percent to $1,701.56 an ounce by 0029 GMT, on course for a 0.8-percent loss for the week in its second weekly drop. * U.S. gold was little changed at $1,701.20. * The euro zone economy is likely to further shrink in 2013, the European Central Bank predicted on Thursday, sharply downgrading its outlook after holding interest rates at a record low 0.75 percent. Expectations are building for the ECB to cut rates in face of another contraction in the economy. * The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell back to the pre-superstorm Sandy range, suggesting a return to modest job growth after a storm-related set back. * Investors are waiting for the key monthly U.S. non-farm payrolls data, due at 1330 GMT, which is likely to show a sharp drop in job growth in November as superstorm Sandy disrupted economic activity. The unemployment rate is seen holding steady at 7.9 percent. * With little to show after a month of posturing, the White House and Republicans in Congress dropped hints on Thursday that they had resumed low-level private talks on breaking the stalemate over the "fiscal cliff" but refused to divulge details. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or MARKET NEWS * U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Thursday, a day ahead of the key monthly jobs report, as a rebound in shares of Apple helped boost technology shares. * The euro languished at one-week lows against the greenback on Friday, having suffered a major setback after the European Central Bank painted a bleak outlook for the euro zone and discussed cutting interest rates. DATA/EVENTS 1100 Germany Industrial output Oct 1330 U.S. Employment report Nov 1455 U.S. TR/Univ of Michigan consumer sentiment 1930 U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data 2000 U.S. Consumer credit Oct PRICES Precious metals prices 0029 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1701.56 2.94 +0.17 8.81 Spot Silver 33.01 0.03 +0.09 19.21 Spot Platinum 1594.50 2.00 +0.13 14.47 Spot Palladium 689.30 -0.70 -0.10 5.64 COMEX GOLD DEC2 1701.20 -0.60 -0.04 8.58 1704 COMEX SILVER MAR3 33.09 -0.03 -0.09 18.52 355 Euro/Dollar 1.2962 Dollar/Yen 82.43 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months (Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Ed Davies)
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