PRECIOUS-Gold little changed on firmer dollar, mixed equities
* Fed's stimulus seen to run through 2013
* China's economic data mixed
* SPDR gold holdings keep falling
(Updates throughout, changes dateline from SINGAPORE)
LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - Gold was little changed on Monday, with investment demand subdued as the dollar firmed and European shares edged away from multi-year highs on weak Chinese economic data and worries about Italy.
Analysts expected the metal to remain within a range of $1,560 to $1,590 an ounce this week. With major macro economic data lacking during the week, the market continues to monitor the dollar's movements to determine trading direction.
Spot gold was at $1,577.60 an ounce by 1100 GMT, having touched a two-week low of $1,560.80 after positive U.S. unemployment figures on Friday.
U.S. gold futures for April delivery rose 0.1 percent to $1,579.20.
"There is a wait-and-see attitude and gold is likely to remain rangebound this week as there are no key policy announcements and the economic data is mostly second-tier," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
"A lot will depend on the dollar, which the metal is likely to track in coming days."
Gold lost one percent in the previous session after U.S. nonfarm payrolls numbers beat analysts' expectations, while unemployment dipped to a four-year low.
It remained above techincal support of $1,560 on short-covering on hopes the Federal Reserve will keep propping up the economy with monetary stimulus through 2013.
The Fed's loose monetary policy has helped push gold to record highs in recent years, as investors have sought a hedge against a rising inflation outlook.
But signs of recovery have emerged, fuelling speculation the central bank would curtail its monetary stimulus sooner rather than later, sapping interest in gold.
In wider markets, the dollar was firm against the euro and other major currencies, while weak industrial data from China and the renewed spotlight on the euro zone's problems caused by the Fitch agency's downgrade of Italy's debt rating curbed optimism over the health of the global economy.
ETF LIQUIDATION CONTINUES
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 3.311 tonnes to 1,239.739 tonnes by the end of last week, the lowest level since October 2011.
SPDR Gold Trust has seen more than 111 tonnes of outflows this year, wiping out the total 96.25 tonnes of inflow in 2012 and reflecting investors' interest shifting away from safe havens.
"Bullion's role in an average investor portfolio is set to remain peripheral, especially if we see improving growth rates globally, with market participants chasing better returns elsewhere," VTB Capital said in a note.
Echoing the sentiment of gold ETF investors, hedge funds and money managers cut their net long positions in U.S. gold futures and options by nearly 27 percent to 39,631 contracts in the week to March 5, the lowest since July 2007, data from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
Net longs in silver dropped 47 percent on the week to 6,118 lots, the lowest in more than seven months, the data showed.
Spot silver fell 0.4 percent to $28.85 an ounce.
Physical buying interest of gold in Southeast Asia was slow, as customers awaited clear price direction, analysts said.
Among other precious metals, spot palladium dropped 1 percent to $772 an ounce, off Friday's peak at $784.50, its highest since September 2011.
China's vehicle data showed new car sales fell 13.6 in February due to the Lunar New Year holiday break, but rose 14.7 percent for January and February combined from the same period a year earlier.
China's car market favours gasoline-powered engines, which use heavy palladium loadings in their catalysts.
Platinum fell 0.5 percent to $1,592.49.
(Additional reporting by Rujun Shen.; Editing by Anthony Barker)