SINGAPORE, Jan 25 Gold inched down on Friday,
languishing near a 1-1/2-week low hit in the previous session
when upbeat data from the world's largest economies sapped
demand for the safe-haven metal.
* Spot gold had inched down $1.25 to $1,666.11 an
ounce by 0035 GMT, on course for a weekly loss of 1 percent, its
sharpest in a month. It dropped to as low as $1,664.69 on
Thursday, a level not seen since Jan. 14.
* U.S. gold fell 0.3 percent to $1,665.80.
* Gold had failed to breach resistance at $1,700 in the last
week despite repeated attempts, contributing to the sell-off on
Thursday. Spot prices could drop to their Jan. 4 low of
$1,625.79 over the next four weeks, as indicated by their wave
pattern and a falling channel, said Reuters market analyst Wang
* Manufacturing in China and the United States grew this
month at the fastest pace in about two years, while data
suggesting German growth picked up boosted hopes for a swifter
euro zone recovery, providing signs that the global economy may
be gaining traction.
* The number of new claims for jobless benefits in the U.S.
dropped to a five-year low last week.
* HSBC halved the allocation of gold in its strategic
portfolio in favour of equities and treasury inflation-protected
securities (TIPS) to reduce volatility, the bank said in a
report, taking a much less favourable view of the metal as an
* The Russian central bank will continue to buy gold as it
seeks to diversify its foreign reserves away from paper assets
it views as risky, First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev said
* Vietnam's central bank said it would directly import gold
and trade the precious metal with gold companies and banks, as
part of its plan to control the domestic market and ease
pressures on the local currency.
* For the top stories on metals and other news, click
* The smallest of gains gave the Standard & Poor's 500 its
seventh straight winning day on Thursday, but the index failed
to hold above the 1,500 line, restrained by Apple's worst day in
more than four years.
* The yen fell to a 2-1/2-year low against the dollar and a
21-month trough against the euro in early Asian trading on
Friday after data showed Japan remains entrenched in deflation,
keeping pressure on the Bank of Japan to take more steps to meet
its inflation target.
0900 Germany Ifo business climate
0930 UK Preliminary Q4 GDP
1500 U.S. New home sales
Precious metals prices 0035 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume
Spot Gold 1666.11 -1.25 -0.07 -0.50
Spot Silver 31.58 -0.05 -0.16 4.29
Spot Platinum 1676.49 -1.50 -0.09 9.22
Spot Palladium 723.12 -0.85 -0.12 4.50
COMEX GOLD FEB3 1665.80 -4.10 -0.25 -0.60 3350
COMEX SILVER MAR3 31.60 -0.13 -0.40 4.52 1550
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)