UPDATE 14.30 GMT
Following a sharp drop in gold prices Friday afternoon, gold in Sterling at this week's final London Fix was below £1000 an ounce, the first time this has happened for the PM fix since May last year. Gold first passed the £1000 an ounce mark on the way up back in July 2011.
Gold in Dollars meantime fixed at $1535.50 an ounce, a weekly drop of 2%, while gold in Euros was €1173, down 2.7% from a week earlier.
Silver prices meantime fell back below $27 an ounce.
The Euro meantime regained some ground against the Dollar, following the release of an official European statement on Cyprus as well as disappointing US economic data.
Following their meeting in Dublin Friday, the Eurogroup of single currency finance ministers announced that it expects to see formal approval of Cyprus's €10 billion bailout by 24 April 2013, subject to approval by national parliaments.
Any decision on whether Cyprus will sell some of its gold reserves "is going to be taken by the [Cypriot] central bank," European Central Bank president Mario Draghi said Friday.
"What's important, however, is that what is being transferred to the government budget out of the profits made out of the sales of gold should cover first and foremost any potential loss that the central bank might have from its ELA [Emergency Liquidity Assistance]."
Our reading of Draghi's comments here at BullionVault is that should Cyprus's central bank choose to sell some of its 13.9 tonnes of gold, any excess profits over and above the cost of helping the country's banks could be handed over to the government without breaching European treaties on debt monetization.
Across the Atlantic, US retail sales fell by 0.4% last month, data published Friday show, compared to a consensus forecast among analysts for a growth rate of zero.
Producer price inflation meantime eased in March, figures show, while the provisional Reuters/Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for April fell unexpectedly to 72.3, down from 78.6 last month.
Gold prices fell below $1550 per ounce Friday morning, though they remained above last week's low, as stocks and commodities also fell and the Dollar strengthened, with Eurozone finance ministers set to discuss Cyprus, Ireland and Portugal today.
"Current momentum favors a test to the downside," say technical analysts at Scotia Mocatta, "but we would not expect significant liquidation until a break of $1500."
Analysts at Barclays Capital meantime say gold should hit support around last week's low of $1540 an ounce, but ad that there is tough resistance around $1590.
"It's a thin market," one dealer in Singapore told newswire Reuters this morning.
"Buying is not exceptionally high from India. I would say there isn't anything unusual yet."
Gold in Sterling meantime fell to its lowest level this year on the spot market at £1006 an ounce, only just above its December low and close to its lowest level since July last year.
Gold in Euros dropped to €1185 an ounce, a two-month low and nearly 15% off its all-time high set last September.
Heading into the weekend, the Dollar gold price looked set for its third straight weekly drop, down 2% on where it closed last Friday, the steepest drop since February.
Silver meantime fell back below $27.50 an ounce, though it remained slightly up on the week by Friday lunchtime in London.
On the currency markets, the Euro fell against the Dollar this morning, handing back all of yesterday's gains, amid fears that Cyprus's bailout may not be large enough.
Germany's government said Friday that the €10 billion figure for bailing out Cyprus is "not up for negotiation" following news that the country needs to find €23 billion to meet its financing needs over the next three years.
"We cannot do any more," agreed Luxembourg finance minister Luc Frieden, attending today's Eurogroup meeting of single currency finance ministers.
Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem meantime said he was "very optimistic about helping Portugal and Ireland," adding that an agreement will "hopefully" be reached to extend loans to those countries by seven years.
Dijsselbloem denied that the subject of bad loans in Slovenia's banking sector was due to be discussed at the meeting.
Elsewhere in Europe, British prime minister David Cameron traveled to Berlin Friday to discuss European Union reform with German chancellor Angela Merkel.
The Bank of Japan meantime has taken "all necessary steps to achieve [its] 2% inflation [target] in two years," BoJ governor Haruhiko Kuroda said Friday.
"But it's not appropriate to limit our policy to two years...we will not hesitate to adjust policy in the future as the economy is like a living thing."
The BoJ's promise last week to spend $1.4 trillion of newly-created money on various assets "does not appear to have been bullish for Japanese gold demand" says a note from Credit Suisse this morning.
"Record prices of gold in yen have seen a marked increase in sales of both bars and scrap as investors realize gains...the BoJ's efforts to displace Yen from JGBs [Japanese Government Bonds] and into other avenues are likely to exaggerate the global hunt for yield and real returns by Japanese individuals and institutions...we think it more likely that will be reflected in rising equity prices and falling bond yields abroad than in accelerating gold demand domestically."
The Tokyo Stock Exchange suspended JGB futures trading Fridays following a sharp drop in prices.