Gold edged above $1,170 an ounce in Europe on Friday, supported by uncertainty ahead of U.S. economic growth data later in the session but with a dearth of safe-haven buying dampening further price rises.

The metal has slipped nearly 6 percent so far in July, its biggest monthly loss since December's 7 percent slide, as concerns over euro zone sovereign debt levels, which sent the metal to a record $1,264.90 an ounce in June, receded.

Spot gold was bid at $1,171.85 an ounce at 1210 GMT (8:10 a.m. EDT), against $1,168.05 late in New York on Thursday. U.S. gold futures for December delivery firmed $3.10 to $1,174.30.

Appetite for other, riskier assets has improved, said Credit Agricole analyst Robin Bhar. Investors are chasing equities and other commodities like copper because they feel there is more upside, and gold has suffered as a result.

For the moment, risk is on. Whether that changes post the GDP numbers, we will have to wait and see, he added.

The United States will release second-quarter gross domestic product numbers at 1230 GMT. Market watchers say the data may add to fears its recovery is losing momentum, with growth seen at an annual 2.5 percent from 2.7 percent in the first quarter.

Bhar said he believes a slowdown in U.S. growth is already priced into the market. A greater than expected softening of the numbers could kick-start more safe-haven buying, but a better than forecast number may boost other assets at gold's expense.

The dollar hit an 8-month low versus the yen on Friday, staying under sell pressure ahead of the GDP data and on anticipated month-end selling. It rose versus the euro, however, while the dollar index .DXY was little changed.

European shares fell as downbeat comment from a Federal Reserve official hurt sentiment. St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said on Thursday he is worried about the risks the U.S. might fall into a Japan-style quagmire of falling prices and investment. .EU

His comments helped lift gold in New York trade on Thursday.


Among other commodities, oil slipped on Friday as investors focused on a slowing economy and rising inventories in top consumer the United States. Copper prices eased.

From a technical perspective, gold is still looking vulnerable to further losses after breaking through key support at $1,175 an ounce earlier this week, analysts said.

On a closing basis, support for gold still holds at $1,160, as the metal's attempts past this point continue to bring buyers into the market, said ScotiaMocatta in a note.

This is encouraging as far as arresting the liquidation goes, but without a break of downtrend resistance, currently holding at $1,190, we see no reason to turn bullish on gold.

Among other precious metals, silver was bid at $17.66 an ounce against $17.59, while platinum was at $1,558 an ounce against $1,560.

Palladium, which rose more than 4 percent on Thursday on options-related buying, hit its highest since June 22 at $489.50 on Friday, and was later at $486.73 versus $485.28.

The metal, which is up 10 percent so far in July, is set for its first monthly gain since April. The gold-palladium ratio -- the number of ounces of palladium needed to buy an ounce of gold -- fell to 2.4 on Friday, its lowest since mid-May.

We can understand why palladium and the commodity complex have outperformed gold of late, said UBS analyst Edel Tully in a note. Quite simply, investors are seeking risk and for now gold's safe haven properties have been made redundant. (Reporting by Jan Harvey; Editing by Anthony Barker)