Gold held steady early on Friday as the dollar slipped and was on track for its second successive weekly gain. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was little changed at $1,337.70 an ounce by 0113 GMT. The metal was set for a 1-percent gain this week. * US gold futures were steady at $1,342.20. * The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of currencies, was down 0.1 percent at 94.899. * The European Central Bank held interest rates at record lows and kept the door open to more stimulus on Thursday but gave few hints about its next move, disappointing markets that had priced in a decisively dovish tone. * The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength even as the pace of job growth is slowing. * China's imports unexpectedly rose in August for the first time in nearly two years, boosted by coal and other commodities, suggesting domestic demand may be picking up and putting the world's second-largest economy on a more balanced footing. * Bank of Japan Deputy Governor Hiroshi Nakaso said the central bank would not rule out deepening negative interest rates or any other easing steps needed to achieve its price target. * Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, fell 0.13 percent to 950.62 tonnes on Thursday. * Goldcorp Inc has hired Bank of Nova Scotia to lead the sale process for Los Filos, its gold and silver mine in Mexico, according to two sources familiar with the situation, after putting the asset on the block earlier in the summer. * South African gold explorer White Rivers Exploration (WRE) aims to raise up to 30 million pounds ($40 million) with a dual stock market listing in London and Johannesburg next year to help it to develop one of the world's largest bullion deposits.