SINGAPORE, May 17 (Reuters) - Gold edged up on Friday as stock markets paused after rally, but the metal was still on track for its worst weekly decline in a month as investors cut exposure to bullion, sending holdings in exchange-traded funds to the lowest in four years. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was up 0.17 percent to $1,388.11 an ounce by 0038 GMT, having fallen to a four-week low of $1,369.29 on Thursday as renewed liquidation in gold ETFs and the recent drop below the $1,400-per-ounce level spooked investors. * U.S. gold for June delivery was little changed at $1,386.70. * SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, said its holdings fell 0.55 percent to 1041.42 tonnes on Thursday - the lowest in four years. * Premiums for gold bars rallied to all-time highs in Hong Kong and Singapore on Thursday after bullion's steepest drop since its April sell-off fuelled another round of buying that constricted supply. * Gold investment nearly halved in the first quarter as a brighter view of the U.S. economy prompted investors in the West to favour other assets, but Chinese coin and bar demand hit a quarterly record of 109.5 tonnes, the World Gold Council said on Thursday. * Indian gold futures fell 1.5 percent on Thursday, extending losses for a second straight session, to hit their lowest level in nearly a month in line with global markets. * The Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) will launch after-hours trading for Fridays on May 31 as part of its efforts to help its members better manage price risks, the bourse said in a statement on Thursday. * For the top stories on metals and other news, click , or MARKET NEWS * The Nikkei share average fell for a second day on Friday as caution over the recent steep rises continued to spur profit-taking, while a pullback in Wall Street soured investor sentiment. * Global equity markets fell on Thursday after a regional president of the Federal Reserve said the U.S. central bank could begin to ease up on its loose monetary policy this summer, leading the dollar to recover against the euro. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1355 U.S. TR/U Michigan sentiment index 1400 U.S. Leading indicators PRECIOUS METALS PRICES 0038 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg YTD pct chg Volume Spot Gold 1388.11 2.42 +0.17 -17.10 Spot Silver 22.67 0.01 +0.04 -25.13 Spot Platinum 1479.99 0.99 +0.07 -3.58 Spot Palladium 734.25 -1.75 -0.24 6.11 COMEX GOLD JUN3 1386.70 -0.20 -0.01 -17.25 2478 COMEX SILVER JUL3 22.63 -0.03 -0.13 -25.14 855 Euro/Dollar 1.2884 Dollar/Yen 102.21 COMEX gold and silver contracts show the most active months Source: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/05/17/markets-precious-idUSL3N0DY04P20130517
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