Sept 30 (Reuters) - Gold inched up on Friday as equities fell, but was on track to end the week down over 1 percent. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold had risen 0.2 percent to $1,323.20 an ounce by 0053 GMT. * U.S. gold futures were mostly flat at $1,326.40 an ounce. * Asian stocks followed Wall Street lower in early trade on Friday. * U.S. economic growth was less sluggish than previously thought in the second quarter as exports grew more than imports and businesses raised their investments, hopeful signs for the economic outlook. * However, other data showed contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes dropped in August to the lowest level since January. * With inflation expectations anchored and inflation itself running below the Federal Reserve's 2-percent target, there is no rush to raise interest rates, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari said on Thursday. * Fed official Jerome Powell said on Thursday the U.S. economy is in "solid shape" but that the central bank can be patient in approving any interest rate increase because of the weak global environment. * Kansas City Fed President Esther George told CNBC that it was time to move ahead with a rate hike and said even if interest rates were to rise, they would still remain accommodative. * Bank of Japan policymakers engaged in heated debate on the feasibility of overhauling its massive stimulus programme with some board members doubting whether it would enhance flexibility of monetary policy, a summary of opinions at the central bank's September rate review showed on Friday. * Protesters in northern Mexico blocked access to the Penasquito mining complex operated by Goldcorp Inc on Thursday, but the company said operations were unaffected and the issue would be resolved quickly. * Canada's Kirkland Lake Gold will acquire Australian miner Newmarket Gold for about C$1 billion ($764 million) in stock. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click or DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) 0145 China Caixin manufacturing PMI final September 0600 Germany Retail sales August 0900 Euro zone Inflation flash September 0900 Euro zone Unemployment rate August 1230 U.S. Personal income August 1345 U.S. Chicago PMI September (Reporting by Nallur Sethuraman in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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