Gold did nothing of much on the last trading day before Christmas after rising above $620 as London opened.
Action has been the same in all major currencies, with Sterling investors first lagging the bounce but then catching up as the Pound hit profit-taking in the forex markets.
On the data front, French business confidence has fallen this month thanks to the rising Euro, whilst the UK service sector has just enjoyed its third month running of fast growth.
US data due Friday included personal income, durable goods sales, core inflation and consumer sentiment. But with London, Wall Street and European traders all clocking off early for Christmas, gold was left to drift lower.
Today's big news came from India, where total consumption this year has slipped below 700 tonnes according to the GFMS consultancy, down more than 7% from last year.
"2006 was all about record rupee gold prices and volatility," says Paul Walker, chief executive officer. "In the second quarter, we saw prices spiking above $700 an ounce...Imports were very, very low in that period."
But on a cash basis, "Indians are spending more on gold purchases than at any point in the past," notes Walker. And retail demand has risen for coins and bars.
"It is as if the Indian market is beginning to separate out more clearly purchases of gold that are focussed on the investment side and those purchases that are wedding and adornment related," says Walker. "I would expect to see, maybe lighter wedding sets being sold and the balance of the gold value in a dowry being made up for by coins and bars."
David Gornall, head of bullion and foreign exchange at Natexis Commodity Markets in London agrees. "The emphasis for next year will be coming from the Far East as far as investor demand goes...India's moving quite a lot of its investment in gold into coins."
On the technicals in the short-term, analysts at ScotiaMocatta say we should "expect the metal to find support from the 200 and 100-day moving averages to the recent low around 612.25...However, a break below should encourage fresh sellers with a goal of 605 and then 600. On the upside any rally should meet with congestion between 627 and 630."
Beyond the sound and fury of the daily action, however, the investment case for gold remains intact. If you need a quick refresher, click here to read more now...