Gold prices edged lower in Asian trade on Friday as stocks firmed and the US dollar rose on expectations the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates by year-end.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Spot gold XAU= was down 0.1 percent at $1,256.50 an ounce by 0059 GMT.

* US gold futures GCcv1 were up 0.1 percent at $1,258.50 an ounce.

* The dollar index .DXY, which measures the greenback against a basket of six major currencies, gained 0.1 percent to 97.613.

* Asian stocks edged higher and the dollar bounced on Friday as global markets took a breather after being churned by downbeat Chinese economic data the previous day.

* Markets will next look to Friday's US retail sales data and remarks from Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who will address a Boston Fed economics conference at which Boston Fed governor Eric Rosengren will also speak.

* The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits held at a 43-year low last week, pointing to sustained labour market strength that could pave the way for the Fed to raise interest rates in December.

* The US central bank may want to hold off on monetary policy changes until after the US presidential election on Nov. 8, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Thursday.

* China's September exports fell 10 percent from a year earlier, far worse than expected, while imports unexpectedly shrank after picking up in August, suggesting signs of steadying in the world's second-largest economy may be short-lived.

* Azerbaijan's top gold producer Anglo Asian Mining (AAZ.L) said on Thursday its January-September output was 7.8 percent lower than in the same period last year at 49,874 ounces and it was cutting its 2016 production target.

* Holdings of the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, rose 0.28 percent to 961.57 tonnes on Thursday.

* South Africa's mining output fell 0.2 pct in August, according to Statistics South Africa's monthly mining production data released on Thursday.