Gold climbs to 2-week high ahead of U.S. inflation data

Daily December Comex Gold

Gold prices stopped just shy of hitting $1,300 after the dollar found support on the back of a pair of reports pointing to underlying strength in the usa economy.

Spot gold was up 0.4 per cent at US$1,292.88 per ounce by 3.43pm EDT (1943 GMT), while USA gold futures futures for December delivery settled down US$4.90, or 0.4 per cent, at US$1,288.90 per ounce, prior to the release of the minutes.

The dollar steadied in early Asian trading on Friday, on track for weekly losses as investors awaited the U.S. inflation data to gauge the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will stick to its plan to raise interest rates again this year.

The U.S. dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of other major currencies, edged lower for three consecutive sessions, down 0.56 percent to 93.20 as of 1717 GMT.

Hurdles in USA tax and healthcare reforms had also recently pressured the currency.

The bullish wholesale data comes ahead of US retail inflation data - measured by the consumer price index - slated for Friday.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising interest rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar in which the metal is priced. Wall Street is pricing in an 83% chance of a rate increase in December, compared with a almost 88% probability the day before, according to CME Group data.

Elsewhere, European Central Bank Chief Mario Draghi had defended a pledge to keep interest rates at rock bottom on Thursday, while Bank of Japan's Haruhiko Kuroda stressed the central bank's resolve to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy.

Spot gold may retrace to support at $1,281 per ounce before resuming its rally towards resistance at $1,299, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

As for other precious metals, silver for December delivery went up 23.6 cents, or 0.68 percent, to close at 17.207 dollars per ounce.

Platinum rose 0.02 per cent to US$929.20 per ounce, hitting a two-week high of US$934.50 and palladium increased 2.8 per cent at US$959.75, a one-month high.

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