Gold price down on euro zone concerns, China data eyed

Gold fell further on Friday as the euro weakened on renewed concerns over the health of the euro zone economy, while investors eyed China trade data for more trading cues.

China's economic rebound should show signs of strengthening when the first hard economic numbers of the year are released, although distortions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday will make it difficult to gauge momentum.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Gold fell $2.25 an ounce to $1,668.44 by 0050 GMT, but prices were still headed a slight gain this week -- its second straight weekly rise. US gold futures were at $1,669.50 an ounce, down $1.80 .

* Platinum and palladium extended losses, having rallied to their highest level since September 2011 earlier this week on hopes of a better economic outlook.

* The European Central Bank will monitor the economic impact of a strengthening euro, ECB President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, feeding expectations the climbing currency could open the door to an interest rate cut.

* Draghi said the economic weakness in the euro zone was expected to prevail in the early part of 2013 but that later in the year, activity should gradually recover.

* China's gold production rose for a sixth consecutive year and hit a record 403 tonnes in 2012, keeping its ranking as the world's largest bullion producer, the Shanghai Securities News said on Thursday.

MARKET NEWS

* The euro hovered near two-week low on Friday after the ECB chief said he would monitor the impact of the currency's strength, making more straightforward remarks on the exchange rate than many had expected.

* US crude steadied under $96 per barrel, weighed by higher domestic supplies, which may be aggravated by the possible delayed restart of BP's Indiana refinery.

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