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Gold In Rally Mode Ahead Of CPI

Gold futures were higher Friday morning, extending 4-month gains ahead of what is expected to be a tame U.S. inflation report.

The Labor Department's Consumer Price Index or CPI for December will be published at 8.30 am ET. Analysts see 0.1 percent growth, down from 0.4 percent in the prior month.

The Federal Reserve has been reluctant to raise interest rates because of stubbornly low inflation. Despite strong jobs growth and extremely low unemployment, interest rates remain at relatively low levels, boosting gold prices.

Gold was up $10.50 at $1333 an ounce.

Traders ignored hawkish comments from New York Fed Pres William Dudley last night.

He said the Fed may have to "press harder on the brakes," or tighten monetary policy, faster than markets have been conditioned to accept.

The Commerce Department's Retail Sales for December will be released at 8.30 am ET. The consensus is for 0.5 percent, while it was 0.8 percent in November.

The Business Inventories for November, compiled by the Commerce Department, is expected to grow 0.3 percent, compared to decline of 0.1 percent in the prior month. The report will be published at 10.00 am ET.

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