SINGAPORE, April 12 Gold was barely changed on
Friday, but was on track for a third straight weekly drop as
strong stock markets lured investors seeking better returns
while outflows from exchange-traded funds reflected the precious
metal's shaky outlook.
* Gold was steady at $1,560.86 an ounce by 0040 GMT
after falling to its weakest in nearly a week on Thursday.
* The prices, which were headed for a more than 1 percent
drop this week, have slipped around 7 percent so far this year
after posting annual gains in the past 12 years.
* U.S. gold for June delivery was at $1,561.10 an
ounce, down $3.80.
* SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.18 percent to
1,181.42 tonnes on Thursday from 1,183.53 tonnes on Wednesday.
* Heavily indebted euro zone nations such as Italy and
Portugal could come under pressure to put their bullion reserves
to work as a result of plans for Cyprus to sell gold to meet its
* Fallout from the messy bailout of Cyprus will top the
agenda of a two-day EU finance ministers meeting in Dublin
beginning on Friday, with focus also on growing German
reluctance over euro zone banking reform.
* A Pentagon spy agency concluded for the first time that
North Korea likely has the ability to launch nuclear-armed
missiles, illustrating the high stakes surrounding the
escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula.
* For the top stories on metals and other news, click
* Asian shares crept higher and the yen faced fresh lows on
Friday as the Bank of Japan's liquidity injections and Wall
Street's record-high close overnight continued to underpin
* U.S. stocks rose for a fourth straight day on Thursday,
sending the Dow and the S&P 500 to new closing highs as positive
data on the labour market and an encouraging retail outlook
eased recent concerns about economic growth.
0530 India Industrial output
0645 France Current account
0900 Euro zone Industrial output
1230 U.S. Producer prices
1230 U.S. Retail sales
1355 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index
1400 U.S. Business inventories
1630 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks
N/A Euro zone finance ministers meet in Dublin
Precious metals prices 0040 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1560.86 0.12 +0.01 -6.79
Spot Silver 27.66 0.06 +0.22 -8.65
Spot Platinum 1525.99 -6.01 -0.39 -0.59
Spot Palladium 726.47 -1.53 -0.21 4.98
COMEX GOLD JUN3 1561.10 -3.80 -0.24 -6.84 1965
COMEX SILVER MAY3 27.62 -0.08 -0.30 -8.65 263
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Himani Sarkar)