* Spot gold rose 0.2% to $1,792.62 per ounce by 0051 GMT. U.S. gold futures advanced 0.5% to $1,793.90.
* The metal has declined more than 2.8% this week, heading for its worst week since June 18.
* The dollar index was steady but not far off a 16- month peak hit earlier this week. A stronger dollar makes bullion costlier for buyers holding other currencies.
* The Fed will likely double the pace of tapering its monthly bond purchases from January to $30 billion, and wind down its pandemic-era bond buying scheme by mid-March, Goldman Sachs strategists said in a daily note on Thursday.
* Reduced stimulus and interest rate hikes tend to push government bond yields up, raising the opportunity cost of gold, which pays no interest.
* The European Central Bank is coming under pressure from bankers to lend more of its stash of German government bonds to avert a market squeeze that would undo some of its own stimulus efforts.
* A surge in coronavirus infections in Germany and high inflation are weighing on the consumer morale in Europe's largest economy, dampening the business prospects for the upcoming Christmas shopping season, a survey showed.
* China's net gold imports via Hong Kong jumped to the highest since June 2018 in October, as buyers in the top consumer stocked up on the metal as a cushion against rising inflation.
* Spot silver fell 0.1% to $23.55 per ounce. Platinum dropped 0.6% to $989.77, while palladium rose 0.4% to $1,866.34.
(Reporting by Nakul Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)