Gold was steady above $950 an ounce on Monday, pausing after touching a one-week high near $960 in the previous session, with investors keeping an eye on the currency market for clues on bullion's direction.
* Gold was at $951.75 an ounce at 0008 GMT, down 0.1 percent from the notional New York close of $952.65.
* U.S. gold futures for December delivery edged down to $953.90 per ounce. The contract settled up $13, or 1.4 percent, at $954.70 on Friday on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
* Bullion rose 0.8 percent last week and hit a one-week high of $957.65 on Friday. The dollar's recent fall against the euro boosted the metal's appeal as a hedge against the falling U.S. currency.
* A rally in U.S. stocks amid optimistic U.S. existing home sales data on Friday helped prompt investors to buy riskier assets, including commodities.
* The world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, the SPDR Gold Trust, said holdings rose 0.92 metric tons to 1,066.41 metric tons on Friday. The holdings had been steady at 1,065.49 metric tons since August 11.
* Spot platinum was steady at $1,252 per ounce after South Africa's miners' union said on Sunday it had suspended an indefinite strike set to start on Monday at the world's No.2 platinum producer, Impala Platinum.
* Non-commercial net long positions in New York gold futures contracts fell to 177,530 lots in the week ended on August 18, down 6.6 percent from 190,086 lots, a weekly report by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed.
* U.S. crude oil steadied around $74 a barrel on Monday, keeping last week's gains of nearly 10 percent, amid rising optimism that the United States was heading toward an economic recovery, which would revive energy demand.
* The euro was little changed at $1.4338. On Friday, the dollar and the yen fell after a strong U.S. housing sales report and upbeat comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke reduced the safe-haven appeal of the U.S. and Japanese currencies.
* U.S. stocks ended the week at 2009 highs on Friday after the rise in home sales and comments from Bernanke reassured investors about the prospects for an economic recovery. <.N>
* Japan's Nikkei share average <.N225> was up 2.5 percent.
* The following data is expected on Monday:
- Euro zone industrial orders (0900 GMT)
- Chicago Fed national activity index for July (1230 GMT)
- Chicago Fed July midwest manufacturing index (1600 GMT)
>Gold hits one-week high, nears $960 on weak dollar
>Commds mostly up as housing data bolsters hopes
>US CFTC moves to rein in small ETF investors-WSJ[ID:nN22103050]
>S.Africa union suspends strike at platinum miner [ID:nLN232817]
Precious metals prices at 0013 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct chg Day ago pct MA 30 RSI
Spot gold $951.75 -$0.90 -0.09% +6.10% $860.10 57
Spot silver $14.18 $0.03 +0.21% +18.36% $11.29 51
Spot plat $1252.00 $1.00 +0.08% -0.12% $1228.97 58
COMEX gold $952.80 -$0.40 -0.04% +1.33% $947.25 57
TOCOM gold 2,907 33 +1.15% +2.36% 2,908 52
TOCOM plat 3,817 65 +1.73% +2.83% 3,747 54
Euro/dlr $1.434 $0.000 -0.01% +0.15%
Dlr/yen 94.61 0.26 +0.28% +0.25%
TOCOM prices in yen per gram, except TOCOM silver which is priced in yen per 10 grams. Spot prices in $ per ounce.
(Reporting by Risa Maeda; Editing by Chris Gallagher)