Gold prices flitted in a range-bound trade on Friday as traders weighed the repercussions of the Middle East conflict against expectations that U.S. interest rates would stay higher for longer after the economy's upbeat performance last quarter.


* Spot gold was steady at $1,984.69 per ounce by 0131 GMT. U.S. gold futures were down 0.2% at $1,994.30.

* Israeli forces executed their biggest ground attack in Gaza in their 20-day-old war with Hamas overnight as anger grew in the Arab world over Israel's unrelenting airstrikes on the besieged Palestinian territory.

* The U.S. economy surged at the fastest growth pace in nearly two years in the third quarter, again defying dire warnings of a recession.

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said U.S. third-quarter economic growth of nearly 5% was a good sign that the economy was headed for a soft landing, but could help keep longer-dated bond yields elevated.

* The dollar was set for a weekly gain on Friday, while U.S. Treasury yields edged 0.2% higher after easing in the last session following the release of weaker-than-expected U.S. inflation and disposable income data.

* Investor focus is also on the U.S. personal consumption expenditure (PCE) price index for cues on what to expect from the Fed's policy meeting next week.

* The European Central Bank left interest rates unchanged, as expected on Thursday, snapping a 15-month streak of rate hikes, echoing the recent actions of the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England.

* China's gold imports via Hong Kong fell 11% in September from the previous month, the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department data showed on Thursday.

* Spot silver eased 0.1% to $22.80, platinum rose 0.3% to $902.72 and palladium fell 0.1% to $1,132.11.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1230 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Sept 1230 US Core PCE Price Index MM,YY Sept 1230 US PCE Price Index MM,YY Sept 1400 US U Mich Sentiment Final Oct (Reporting by Swati Verma and Sherin Elizabeth Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)