Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended a tad lower on Friday, ending a four-session winning streak, as a stronger dollar reduced gold\'s appeal as an alternative asset. The most active gold contract for Feb. delivery lost 3.3 dollars, or 0.2 percent, to 1,616.8 dollars per ounce. The U.S. Labor Department said on Friday that the jobless rate dropped to 8.5 percent in Dec. from a revised 8.7 percent in November, offering the strongest evidence yet of an accelerating U. S. economy. A trader said that gold lost some steam on Friday as ICE US Dollar Index hit the highest point in more than a year, supported by improving market confidence. A stronger dollar usually makes dollar-denominated gold more expensive to holders of other currencies. Market analysts pointed out that profit-taking also weighed on gold prices, after the precious metal kept rising for four- consecutive sessions and closed at 3-week high on Thursday. The precious metal jumped 3.2 percent, or 50 dollars per ounce this week, as bargain-hunters re-entered the market after December\' s steep decline in gold prices. Silver for March delivery lost 61.3 cents, or 2.1 percent, to 28.683 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery trimmed 9.8 dollars, or 0.7 percent, to 1,408.2 dollars per ounce.