* Spot gold hits near three-week low, set for weekly decline
* Silver, platinum, palladium on course to end week lower
* Spot gold may revisit $1,260.16 an ounce - technicals
(Adds comment, detail; updates prices) Oct 27 (Reuters) - Gold prices inched down on Friday to hit their lowest in nearly three weeks, with the dollar gaining against the euro after the European Central Bank extended its bond-buying programme.
Spot gold had dropped 0.1 percent to $1,265.71 per
ounce by 0656 GMT, after touching its lowest since Oct. 6 at $1264.45. It was heading for a weekly decline of about 1 percent.
U.S. gold futures for December delivery shed 0.2
percent to $1,266.70. "How gold finishes the week will now be entirely at the whim of the U.S. dollar and U.S. yields, with little to no geopolitical safe-haven premium left in the price," Jeffrey Halley, a senior market analyst with OANDA, said in a note. Asian shares gained as technology stocks were boosted by upbeat earnings from U.S. high-tech giants while the euro hovered near a three-month low against the dollar after the European Central Bank extended its stimulus.
"If buoyancy in the greenback and equities continues, we could see gold testing the support at the October lows around $1,260, with next key level at $1,250," MKS PAMP analyst Tim Brown wrote in a note. A strong greenback makes dollar-priced gold costlier for non-U.S. investors. "It looks like we are going to be heading a bit lower from here, from both the fundamental and technical points of view," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir. Spot gold may revisit its Oct. 6 low of $1,260.16 per ounce as it has broken a support zone of $1,271-$1,268, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao. An impending decision on the U.S. Federal Reserve's next chair could also be an important driver for the metal, analysts said. President Donald Trump's search for the next Fed chair has come down to Fed Governor Jerome Powell and Stanford University economist John Taylor, Politico on Thursday cited one source as saying, while another counselled caution. Meanwhile, the U.S. House of Representatives helped pave the way on Thursday for deep tax cuts sought by Trump and Republican leaders, underpinning the greenback. Gold is likely to flatline for another year in 2018 as rising U.S. interest rates clip momentum, while silver forecasts were cut again after the metal lagged forecasts in the third quarter, a Reuters poll showed on Thursday. Autocatalyst metal palladium will struggle to maintain its recent push to 16-year highs above $1,000 an ounce.
Silver prices shed 0.4 percent to $16.68 per ounce, platinum dipped 0.5 percent to $912.60, while palladium
also slipped 0.5 percent to $964.00. All three metals were on track for weekly declines.
(Reporting by Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Joseph Radford)