PRECIOUS-Gold steady amid subdued dollar, poised for weekly gain

    Dec 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices were steady in Asian trade on
Friday, poised for their first weekly gain in four, as the
dollar sagged on concerns about the progress of U.S. tax reform.
    * Spot gold        was nearly unchanged at $1,253.20 an
ounce, as of 0054 GMT, after dipping 0.2 percent in the previous
session. Bullion was on track for its first weekly gain in four
    * U.S. gold futures         edged down 0.1 percent at
    * The dollar was on the defensive on Friday after wrangling
over a bill to change the U.S. tax code dented confidence, while
the euro sagged after the European Central Bank signalled it
would maintain stimulus for as long as needed.         
    * Asian shares edged higher on Friday, on track for weekly
gains, though sentiment was kept in check by Wall Street's
    * U.S. President Donald Trump's drive to win passage of a
sweeping Republican tax bill in the U.S. Congress hit potential
obstacles on Thursday as two more Republican senators insisted
on changes, joining a list of lawmakers whose support is
    * The European Central Bank on Thursday stuck to its pledge
to keep money pouring into the euro zone economy for as long as
needed, despite opposition from some rate setters and increased
growth and inflation forecasts for the area.             
    * U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in November
as the holiday shopping season got off to a brisk start,
pointing to sustained strength in the economy that could pave
the way for further Federal Reserve interest rate hikes next
    * Businesses across the euro zone are ending 2017 on a near
seven-year high, with demand and price pressures picking up and
forward-looking indicators pointing to a busy start to 2018. 
    * Last week's breakthrough in Brexit talks has reduced the
risk of a disorderly British departure from the European Union
and may boost economic confidence, the Bank of England said on
Thursday after it left interest rates unchanged.             
    * Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday the
United States was in the grip of a fabricated spymania whipped
up by President Donald Trump's opponents but he thought battered
U.S.-Russia relations would recover one day.             

    1000  Euro zone   Eurostat trade                   Oct
    1330  U.S.        New York Fed manufacturing       Dec
    1415  U.S.        Industrial production            Nov

 (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry