Gold under pressure from ECB policy hint, but set for weekly gainGold under pressure from ECB policy hint, but set for weekly gain
* Spot gold was off 0.2 percent at $1,099.20 an ounce by 0049 GMT. But bullion was still up around 1 percent for the week after touching a 1-1/2-week peak of $1,109.20 on Wednesday.
* Gold benefited from the risk aversion among investors that sank stocks and crude oil, although slow physical demand from major consumers China and India kept a lid on price gains.
* Premiums for gold prices in China only rose slightly this week and sellers in India offered discounts amid poor demand.
* U.S. gold for February delivery climbed 0.1 percent to $1,099.40 an ounce.
* Fading growth and inflation prospects will force the ECB to review its policy stance in March, President Mario Draghi said, a strong signal that more easing could be coming within months.
* The Indian government will pay banks a 2.5 percent commission to unlock the country’s massive stash of gold under a new monetisation scheme, the central bank said, as the ambitious plan received a poor response from banks and customers.
* Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s biggest gold producer, said it expected to take charges of up to $3 billion following an annual accounting impairment review.
* Production from gold and silver mines is tipped to drop in 2016 after years of waning metal values, but silver prices are more likely to benefit from the decline than gold.
* Australia is considering tightening its anti-money laundering regulations to include real estate agents and precious stone dealers, sources said, following red flags from a global watchdog over potential illicit cash entering the country.
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* Asian stocks gained after the markets were given some breathing space when the European Central Bank hinted of more monetary policy easing, while crude oil extended an overnight rally.
* The dollar firmed against a basket of currencies, underpinned by rising expectations of monetary easing by other major central banks but also kept in check by fading hopes for more interest rate increases from the U.S. Federal Reserve.