Gold was little changed on Friday but was headed for the second weekly rise in three weeks, buoyed by a weaker dollar as investors shifted their focus to the fiscal problems in the United States.
Spot gold traded nearly flat at $1,729 an ounce by 0059 GMT, headed for a weekly gain of 1 percent.
U.S. gold inched up 0.1 percent to also stand at $1,729.
The euro zone economy is on course for its deepest downturn since early 2009, while Chinese factories returned to growth last month bringing better news for the world economy, business surveys showed on Thursday.
Two miners were killed in clashes between rival unions in South Africa on Thursday at a mine run by Harmony Gold, in a fresh flare-up of labour violence in Africa's largest economy days after a wave of wildcat strikes ended, police said.
Spain sold nearly 4 billion euros of bonds with ease at an auction on Thursday that kicked off its funding programme for a daunting 2013 when Madrid must shoulder regional debt needs and will struggle to meet deficit targets.
The dollar hovered above the two-week low hit in the previous session.
Asian shares marked time on Friday but were on course for a weekly gain of nearly 2 percent, after manufacturing surveys from China and the United States raised hopes that the global growth outlook is improving at last.