PRECIOUS-Gold heads for biggest weekly drop since December
SINGAPORE, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Gold steadied on Friday but stayed near its lowest in six weeks and remained on track for its biggest weekly drop since December, hurt as the euro weakened on disappointing data from Europe.
* Gold was little changed at $1,634.89 an ounce by 0039 GMT, after falling to $1,632.34 on Thursday, its weakest since early January.
* Worries over appetite for the metal also dragged. Global gold demand fell last year for the first time since 2009 as jewellery buying abated in the key Indian and Chinese markets, and as U.S. and European coin and bar investment dropped, the World Gold Council said on Thursday.
* U.S. gold was also little changed at $1,635.40 an ounce.
* The euro zone slipped deeper than expected into recession in the last three months of 2012 after its largest economies, Germany and France, shrank at the end of a wretched year for the region.
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* Asian shares eased on Friday, with investors turning cautious as the weak euro zone growth data presaged the G20 meeting in this session and on Saturday in Moscow.
* The euro nursed heavy losses on Friday in the wake of the data.
* U.S. crude futures were steady above $97 a barrel on Friday, holding a slight gain from the day before on encouraging U.S. jobless data and concerns over U.S. gasoline supply.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0430 Japan Industrial output revised 0900 Italy Trade balance 1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade 1330 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing 1415 U.S. Industrial output 1455 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index 1930 U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data G20 Finance ministers and central bankers' meeting in Moscow
Precious metals prices 0039 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1634.89 0.43 +0.03 -2.37 Spot Silver 30.42 0.05 +0.16 0.46 Spot Platinum 1705.25 -2.24 -0.13 11.09 Spot Palladium 761.25 -1.75 -0.23 10.01 COMEX GOLD APR3 1635.40 -0.10 -0.01 -2.41 2024 COMEX SILVER MAR3 30.43 0.08 +0.25 0.66 553 Euro/Dollar 1.3350 Dollar/Yen 92.98
COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months
(Reporting by Lewa Pardomuan; Editing by Joseph Radford)