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Gold Flat Ahead Of Inflation Data

The price of gold was little changed Friday morning as the US dollar was steady ahead of inflation data, due out today.

Gold for February delivery, the most actively traded contract, edged up $1.40 to $1,698.20 an ounce. Yesterday, gold settled near a two-week low mostly on profit taking as the precious metal erased gains made yesterday after the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a new additional bond purchase program. Meanwhile, uncertainty over U.S. debt negotiations continued even as the fiscal cliff looms around the corner that would include automatic tax hikes and spending cuts beginning January.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,351.42 tons.

Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar was trading near its one-week low versus the euro and a 5-week low against sterling. The buck was hovering near its 9-month high versus the yen and flat against the Swiss franc.

In economic news, euro zone inflation slowed as estimated to 2.2 percent in November from 2.5 percent in October, final data from Eurostat showed. On a monthly basis, prices fell 0.2 percent. The decrease largely reflects slowdown in energy price growth to 5.7 percent annually from 8 percent.

Survey results from the Markit Economics showed that the euro zone private sector contracted at a slower pace as Germany recovered at the end of the year. The composite Purchasing Managers' Index rose to a nine-month high of 47.3 in December, from 46.5 in November.

Germany's private sector expanded in December after contracting for eight straight months, underpinned by service sector recovery, Markit Economics said. The flash composite output index came in at 50.5 in December, an improvement on November's 49.2.

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

From the U.S., the consumer price index for November is scheduled to be released at 8:30 am ET. The index is a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a market basket of consumer goods and services. Economists expect the headline index to have declined by 0.2 percent, while the core reading may have risen 0.2 percent.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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