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Gold Flat Ahead Of FOMC Minutes

The price of gold was little changed amid a steady U.S. dollar as traders await cues from the minutes of the FOMC meeting, due out later today.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, eased $1.20 to $1,723.60 an ounce. Yesterday, gold settled lower on continued concerns over the euro zone with the German economic sentiment for November worsening. The dollar made gains over the euro as finance ministers of the area deferred a decision on the next installment of aid to Greece to the third week of November. Investors were also concerned over the looming U.S. fiscal cliff until a deal is in place.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,338.71 tons.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was leveling off from its 2-month high versus the euro, while steady around 2-month high against sterling and the Swiss franc. The buck was paring recent losses versus the yen.

In economic news, euro zone industrial output dipped by a seasonally adjusted 2.5 percent in September from a month ago, Eurostat reported. Economists had forecast a 2 percent fall after rising 0.9 percent in August.

Meanwhile, the number of people claiming job-seeker's allowance in the U.K. rose by 10,100 in October from September to 1.58 million, the Office for National Statistics said. The jobless claim figure was forecast to remain flat in October. The claimant count rate remained unchanged at 4.8 percent in October, and matched economists' expectations.

U.K. GDP growth is set to fall back sharply in the fourth quarter, the Bank of England said its quarterly Inflation Report, published on Wednesday. Further, the outlook for UK growth remains uncertain, it said. According to BoE, output is more likely than not to remain below its pre-crisis level until towards the end of the forecast period. The bank sees a greater risk of economy staying in a period of persistent low growth.

The prices of silver and platinum were ticking higher in morning deals.

From the U.S., the Commerce Department is set to release its retail sales report for October at 8:30 am ET. For October, economists estimate a 0.1 percent decline in retail sales but a 0.2 percent increase in retail sales, excluding autos.

Simultaneously, the U.S. Labor Department will release its report on the producer price index for October. Economists expect the headline index as the core producer price to have risen by 0.2 percent in October.

Later during the session, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release its business inventories report for September. The report is expected to show a 0.4 percent increase in business inventories for the month compared to a 0.5 percent increase in August.

The Federal Reserve is due to release the minutes of its September 12-13th meeting at 2 pm ET.

by RTT Staff Writer

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