Gold poised for the fourth weekly advance

The shiny metal is girding for its fourth weekly advance this week despite its current drop today ahead of Ben Bernanke's speech later in the day.

Gold slipped last month to a low of $1156.79 an ounce but rebounded in August on a flurry of gloomy data, especially from the United States.

Spot gold is trading at $1236.20 an ounce after recording a high of $1238.07 and a low of $1233.50.

Eyes today will be with US GDP data that will be followed by short speech to the Fed's chairman. Expectations refer that annualized GDP for the second quarter would be revised down to 1.4% from 2.4%, reflecting the slowdown in the economy and adding to concerns that the US economy is vulnerable to a double dip recession.

Bernanke may announce today a second round of stimulus to boost the economy which may give support to gold as a hedge against inflation and safe haven, especially if US growth figures were revised to the downside.

Yesterday, gold shed $3.70 or 0.30% to close at $1237.35 an ounce. Gold Price was setin London on Thursday at $1237.00 per ounce declining from $1240.25 during the AM fixing. SPDR gold trust, the world's largest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, lingered at 1,297.95 on August 26.

In the currency market, the dollar little changed today, yet remains under pressure before the awaited US data and speech. The dollar index, which tracks the dollar movements against a basket of major currencies, is currently trading at 82.85 compared with the day's opening at 82.88.

Oil also little changed where it is currently trading at $73.05 a barrel from yesterday's closing at $73.07, slightly affected by the rise in Asian shares today.

In the coming period, gold may gain further with more expected physical demand from India, the world's largest gold buyer, where festival season begins next week and ends in November.

Among other precious metals, platinum plummeted to $1528.50 from $1531.00 on Thursday; palladium edged up to $498.70 from $497.00; and silver rallied to $18.97 from $18.92, as of 08:10 GMT.