SINGAPORE (Commodity Online) : Gold prices mixed in Asian trade Friday ahead of a key speech from US Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke.

Gold for immediate delivery was seen trading at $1234.69 an ounce at 12.00 noon Singapore time while U.S. gold futures for December delivery was at $1,237.3 an ounce.

Analysts said the precious yellow metal took advantage of a weak dollar against the yen as investors braced for a speech from Federal Chairman.

The dollar edged lower against the yen on Friday, inching back towards a 15-year low hit earlier this week.

Meanwhile, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Trust said its holdings remained unchanged at 1,297.948 tones on August 26.

On Thursday, gold slipped, ending a two-day rise, as US jobless claims declined more than expected, denting bullion's case as a safe-haven investment.

The sharper-than-expected fall in the U.S. jobless claims sent relief to markets, after a spat of disappointing data deepened fears of a double dip in the world's largest economy

Spot gold closed at $1,238 an ounce while U.S. gold futures settled down $3.60 an ounce at $1,237.70.

Gold struck a lifetime high of $1,264.90 in June, partly driven by worries about a slowdown in the U.S. economy and a cooling in several major engines of growth, such as China.

Silver also pared early gains, but remained on course for a six per cent rise this month, which would be its strongest monthly increase since April.