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Gold prices steady, set for fourth straight weekly gain

Gold prices held steady on Friday after hitting 3-1/2 month highs in the previous session, remaining on track for their fourth straight weekly gain.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold was mostly unchanged at $1,322.50 an ounce at 0102 GMT.

* It marked its highest since Sept. 15 at $1,325.86 on Thursday on a weaker dollar.

* Spot gold was on track for its fourth straight weekly climb, rising 1.5 percent so far this week.

* Weighed down by the greenback’s weakness against the euro, the dollar index against a basket of six major currencies was poised for a loss of 0.3 percent this week, during which it probed a three-month low of 91.751 .

* U.S. gold futures were up 0.2 percent at $1,323.70 an ounce.

* Spot gold’s 14-day relative strength index (RSI) was at 72.59. An RSI above 70 indicates a commodity is overbought and could herald a price correction, technical analysts said.

* U.S. private employers added 250,000 jobs in December, data from ADP Research Institute showed, the biggest monthly increase since March. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast a gain of 190,000 jobs.

* With ADP out of the way, investors are now focused on Friday’s U.S. non-farm payrolls report, which is expected to show job gains of 190,000 for December.

* Spot palladium hit a record high on Thursday at $1,105.70. It was steady at $1,097.10 on Friday.

* Palladium’s price jumped 56 percent last year on fears of a shortage fueled by Chinese car sales growth, tightening emissions controls and a swing away from diesel cars in Europe.

* Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.03 percent to 836.04 tonnes on Thursday from Wednesday.