PRECIOUS-Gold flat, Yellen's stimulus view seen supporting

1:57 p.m. EST (1857 GMT), after gaining nearly 1 percent in
Friday, 15 Nov 2013 | 2:35 PM ET

* Bullion ends week unchanged after two-week decline

* Paulson holds gold ETF stake in Q3, others cut

* Dollar decline helps boost gold

* Coming up: CFTC Commitments of Traders report later Friday

NEW YORK/LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Friday, taking a breather after a two-day rise but underpinned by expectations that the nominee to lead the Federal Reserve, Janet Yellen, would continue easy monetary policy in that role. U.S. regulatory filings for the third quarter showing that prominent Hedge fund Paulson & Co maintained its stake in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, also supported prices, traders said. Bullion ended the week nearly flat after dropping sharply over the last two weeks as strong October U.S. nonfarm payrolls stirred fears that the Fed would taper its bond-buying stimulus as early as December. However, Yellen told a Senate Committee on Thursday the Fed's economic stimulus would continue, prompting gold speculators to buy back their bearish bets for fear that bullion prices will rise further. "Gold is rallying on the news but basically it's just short-covering," said Thomas Vitiello, principal of Aurum Options Strategies. "It's not necessarily bullish yet." Spot gold inched down 10 cents to $1,286.91 an ounce each of the previous two sessions. U.S. Comex gold futures settled up $1.10 at $1,287.40 an ounce, with trading volume on track to finish sharply below its 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed. A weaker dollar index against a basket of major currencies also boosted gold buying. The U.S. currency initially rose after data showed U.S. manufacturing output rose for a third straight month in October, suggesting a broadening in activity in a sector regaining momentum after a slump early this year.

PAULSON KEEPS GOLD STAKE, OTHERS CUT Hedge fund Paulson & Co maintained its stake in SPDR Gold Trust, the world's biggest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, in the third quarter after slashing its holding by more than half in the second quarter. Other money managers and pension funds continued to cut their holdings, however, sparking fears that the exodus in gold led by institutional investors in the first half would continue as the economy improves. Outflows from the SPDR fund have amounted to more than 450 tonnes this year, driving its holdings to the lowest level since early 2009 at 865.71 tonnes. Among other precious metals, silver was down 0.2 percent at $20.69 an ounce. Platinum fell 0.4 percent to $1,437.74 an ounce, while palladium slipped 0.9 percent to $729.72 an ounce.

1:57 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL US Gold DEC 1287.40 1.10 0.1 1279.60 1290.80 79,690 US Silver DEC 20.727 0.005 0.0 20.550 20.820 26,134 US Plat JAN 1438.90 -5.20 -0.4 1432.50 1457.50 7,509 US Pall DEC 732.65 -7.15 -1.0 722.50 745.00 6,445 Gold 1286.91 -0.10 0.0 1280.85 1290.76 Silver 20.690 -0.050 -0.2 20.600 20.830 Platinum 1437.74 -5.50 -0.4 1435.50 1455.25 Palladium 729.72 -6.50 -0.9 725.77 742.25 TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY CURRENT 250D AVG CURRENT CHG US Gold 93,030 189,283 23.18 -1.01 US Silver 33,350 58,610 35.14 1.70 US Platinum 7,804 2,978 20.36 0.00 US Palladium 8,191 5,806