PRECIOUS-Gold eases on profit-taking, but poised for best week in 11 years

    March 27 (Reuters) - Gold eased on Friday as some investors
booked profits after prices hit a two-week high in the last
session amid hopes for further stimulus to curb the coronavirus'
economic toll, but the metal was headed for its best weekly gain
in more than 11 years.
    * Spot gold        slipped 0.5% to $1,621.07 per ounce by
0035 GMT, having risen to its highest since March 12 on
    * The metal was up 8.2% for the week, its biggest since
December 2008, on weak U.S. unemployment data and the Federal
Reserve's unprecedented economic stimulus measures.             
    * U.S. gold futures        fell 0.8% to $1,638.80.
    * Asian stocks rose as investors wagered policymakers will
roll out additional stimulus measures to combat the coronavirus
outbreak after U.S. unemployment filings surged to a record.
    * The number of Americans filing claims for unemployment
benefits surged to a record of over 3 million last week as
strict measures to contain the virus brought the country to a
sudden halt.             
    * The U.S. House of Representatives Speaker said she
expected the chamber to pass an estimated $2.2 trillion
coronavirus relief bill when it meets on Friday, after the
Senate overwhelmingly approved the unprecedented economic rescue
legislation on Wednesday evening.             
    * Leaders of the Group of 20 major economies pledged on
Thursday to inject over $5 trillion into the global economy to
limit job and income losses from the coronavirus and "do
whatever it takes to overcome the pandemic."             
    * The British government will pay grants to self-employed
people who have lost their livelihoods because of the virus
lockdown, further extending an unprecedented package of measures
to prevent the economy from collapsing.             
    * European Union leaders failed to agree on Thursday on the
scale of support for their economies battered by the virus, but
gave themselves two more weeks to work out details, while the
European Central Bank has ditched a cap on how many bonds it can
buy from any single euro zone country.                          
    * China's net gold imports via Hong Kong fell 51.1% in
February, compared with the previous month, as the epidemic
stalled activity in the country, data showed.             
    * SPDR Gold Trust      , the world's largest gold-backed
exchange-traded fund, said its holdings rose 0.46% to 953.54
tonnes on Thursday.          
    * Palladium        gained 0.2% to $2,335.33 per ounce,
platinum        slipped 0.5% to $732.21, while silver       
eased 0.2% to $14.35.
1230 U.S. Consumption, adjusted MM          Feb
1400 U.S. U Mich consumer sentiment final   March        

 (Reporting by K. Sathya Narayanan in Bengaluru; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu)