Gold prices were steady early on Friday supported by geopolitical tensions in Ukraine, with investors eyeing fund flows and Asian physical demand for further cues.
Spot gold was little changed at $1,288.51 an ounce by 0022 GMT. The metal is down 0.9 percent for the week - its second straight weekly decline.
Pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine ignored a public call by Russian President Vladimir Putin to postpone a referendum on self-rule, declaring they would go ahead on Sunday with a vote that could lead to war.
The decision, which contradicted the conciliatory tone set by Putin just a day earlier, caused consternation in the West, which fears the referendum will tear Ukraine apart.
Physical demand in Asia has been muted in recent weeks and investors are hoping lower prices would lure consumers, especially in top buyer China.
In mining news, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has rejected a request from activists in Peru to recommend revoking Newmont Mining Corp's licenses to build a massive gold mine, Peru's justice ministry said.
Impala Platinum, the world's second-largest producer of the metal said it would ask its striking South African employees to vote by text message this week on its latest wage offer and whether they wanted to return to work.