Feb 17 Gold held firm early on Friday as the
dollar hovered near one-week lows, putting the precious metal on
track for a third week of gains amid political uncertainties in
the U.S. and Europe.
* Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,237.83 per
ounce at 0049 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.2
percent at $1,239.
* Gold is up 0.3 percent so far for the week, and has risen
about 7.5 percent so far this year.
* The dollar index , which measures the greenback
against a basket of currencies, was at 100.580. It hit an
one-week low of 100.410 on Thursday.
* Concern over U.S. President Donald Trump's policies, as
well as elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany this
year, have fueled gold's rise to a peak of $1,244.67 on Feb. 8.
* But the prospect of a higher dollar and U.S. Treasury
yields after U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that
U.S. interest rates may need to be raised in March pushed gold
to $1,216.41 on Wednesday, its lowest since Feb. 3.
* U.S. residential construction and employment data on
Thursday showed that the economy continued to rebound.
* European Central Bank policymakers called for a
steady-hand approach at last month's rate meeting, the minutes
of the gathering showed, suggesting little appetite for dialling
back stimulus while Europe gears up for high-stakes elections.
* European Union officials urged Greece and its lenders on
Thursday to conclude a long-overdue bailout review quickly to
safeguard economic recovery but Athens said it wouldn't ask "a
euro more" from its austerity-wracked citizens.
* Confidence among Japanese manufacturers rose for a sixth
straight month in February to a 2-1/2 year high but the service
sector's mood fell for the first time in four months, a Reuters
poll showed, underscoring the export-led nature of the economic
* Canada's Avnel Gold will suspend production at
its loss-making Kalana underground mine in Mali for 18 months
from June to expand its operations and build a new processing
plant, the West African nation's mines ministry said.
* South Africa's Gold Fields on Thursday announced
a rise in profits and a long-awaited plan to make its South Deep
mine profitable, with a production target of 500,000 ounces a
* Investors are picking up on the benefits for Mexican
silver miners of one of the biggest foreign exchange stories
since November's U.S. election, with the slide in the peso
pushing costs lower while silver prices are ramping up.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0900 Euro zone Current account Dec
0930 Britain Retail sales Jan
1500 U.S. Leading index Jan
(Reporting By Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by