Stock index futures point to a mixed start on Friday for U.S. shares, following gains on Thursday.

At 4.49 a.m. EDT, futures for the Dow Jones were up 0.2 percent and those for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both down 0.2 percent.

The FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index of leading European shares was down 0.2 percent at 999.04 points as weaker mining shares more than offset Spain's Telefonica leading telecom shares up after announcing plans to boost its dividends.

Gold fell below $1,050 an ounce as the dollar edged up, snapping a rally that took prices of the precious metal to all-time highs for three consecutive days.

The dollar rose on Friday after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated monetary policy might have to be tightened as a recovery takes hold, helping to pull the greenback off 14-month lows against a basket of currencies.

The U.S. trade gap probably widened in August for the third month in a row, to $33 billion from $31.96 billion in July when imports surged a record 4.7 percent on higher crude prices and an influx of cars for the cash for clunkers program. The data is due at 8.30 a.m. EDT.

U.S. stocks rose on Thursday as a surprising quarterly profit from Alcoa Inc got third-quarter earnings off to a strong start. The S&P 500 is up 57.5 percent from its 12-year closing low on March 9. (Reporting by Brian Gorman; Editing by Hans Peters)