* Gold ends up Friday after sell-off earlier in week
* Better U.S. equities performance dents safe-haven appeal
* SPDR gold ETF set for biggest weekly outflow in 18 months
* Coming up: Chicago, Dallas manufacturing indexes Monday
(Adds market details, updates prices)
By Frank Tang
NEW YORK, Feb 22 Gold edged up on Friday, but
notched a second consecutive weekly loss, as a better U.S.
economic outlook and indications the Federal Reserve may end its
stimulus program prompted investors to buy riskier assets such
With a lack of key U.S. economic data on Friday, bullion
investors continued to digested the minutes from the Fed's Open
Market Committee (FOMC) meeting in January that suggested
stimulus measures may end earlier than first thought.
Improving global market confidence and a Wall Street rally
also hit gold's traditional safe-haven appeal.
"A lot of money is rotating out of gold and into the
equities," said Zachary Oxman, portfolio manager of TrendMax
Friday's CFTC Commitments of Traders showed managed money
cut their gold futures and options net length to their lowest
since November 2008, a sign that some heavy-weight investors may
add positions again, dealers said.
Spot gold was up 0.3 percent to $1,579.91 an ounce by
4:26 p.m. EST (2126 GMT), posting a weekly decline of nearly 2
U.S. gold futures for April delivery settled down
$5.80 at $1,572.80, with trading volume about 30 percent below
its 250-day average, preliminary Reuters data showed.
U.S. benchmark index S&P 500 was up 6 percent year to
date and managed to hold above 1,500 points despite ending the
week slightly down.
Confidence in gold, however, was fragile after the metal
fell to a seven-month low of $1,554.49 Thursday a day after the
FOMC minutes and rumors of forced liquidation by a troubled
commodity fund earlier in the week.
Gold looked vulnerable on technical charts after it formed a
bearish formation earlier in the week known as a "death cross,"
when its 50-day moving average broke below its 200-day moving
ETF HOLDINGS, U.S. SPENDING CUTS EYED
Investors continued to bail out of SPDR Gold Trust
this week. The world's largest gold-backed, exchange-traded fund
posted its biggest weekly outflow since August 2011.
The strength of exchange-traded products will remain an
essential element to gold prices, said Suki Cooper, precious
metals strategist at Barclays Capital.
Cooper said that bullion investors will also take trading
cues from U.S. debt-related news. Massive across-the-board U.S.
federal spending cuts are set to kick in on March 1 if
policymakers fail to agree on an alternative option.
Among other precious metals, silver was up 0.2
percent to $28.70 an ounce.
Platinum group metals also ended sharply off Thursday's
Platinum fell 0.5 percent to $1,602.75 an ounce,
after prices fell to a five-week low of $1,593.45 in the
previous session. Palladium rose 0.9 percent at $735.22
an ounce, having fallen to a one-month low of $707.22 on
4:26 PM EST LAST/ NET PCT LOW HIGH CURRENT
SETTLE CHNG CHNG VOL
US Gold APR 1572.80 -5.80 -0.4 1569.30 1587.00 127,837
US Silver MAR 28.46 -0.239 -0.8 28.335 28.895 40,555
US Plat APR 1607.40 -12.60 -0.8 1604.40 1631.60 10,474
US Pall MAR 735.30 1.70 0.2 728.40 741.30 7,323
Gold 1579.91 4.25 0.3 1570.53 1586.85
Silver 28.700 0.060 0.2 28.400 28.920
Platinum 1602.75 -7.99 -0.5 1606.75 1629.00
Palladium 735.22 6.75 0.9 730.77 739.00
TOTAL MARKET VOLUME 30-D ATM VOLATILITY
CURRENT 30D AVG 250D AVG CURRENT CHG
US Gold 136,794 196,771 172,896 15.69 0.06
US Silver 54,406 56,425 52,895 24.28 -0.86
US Platinum 10,584 14,251 11,239 17.08 0.58
US Palladium 12,290 6,546 4,860
(Additional reporting by Clara Denina and Jan Harvey; editing
by Jim Marshall and Leslie Gevirtz)