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Gold Settles Lower On Profit Taking, But Gains 1% For The Week

Gold prices retreated after rising to a fresh six-year high on Friday, with traders taking some profits ahead of the upcoming monetary policy meeting of the Federal Reserve.

The dollar's rebound after two successive days of notable losses, contributed as well to the yellow metal's retreat from higher levels.

The dollar index, which settled at 96.79 on Thursday, rose to 97.18 today, gaining about 0.4%.

Gold futures for August ended down $1.40, or about 0.1%, at $1,426.70 an ounce, after soaring to a high of $1,454.40 earlier in the day.

On Thursday, gold futures for August ended up $4.80, or 0.3%, at $1,428.10 an ounce, after having scored a gain of 0.9% a session earlier.

For the week, gold futures gained about 1%.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.003, at $16.195 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.7525 per pound, gaining $0.0425 in the session.

Gold prices shot up in recent sessions on hopes the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates as early as this month-end.

The recent Congressional testimony by the central bank Chief Jerome Powell, his subsequent comments at some conferences and comments by a few top Fed officials have hinted at a rate cut this month.

Expectations of a reduction in rate increased after recent data showed a significant drop in housing starts and building permits last month.

In economic news today, a preliminary report from the University of Michigan showed a slight improvement in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of July.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index inched up to 98.4 in July from the final June reading of 98.2. Economists had expected the index to edge up to 98.5.

The uptick by the headline index came as the index of consumer expectations crept up to 90.1 in July from 89.3 in June.

On the other hand, the report said the current economic conditions index dipped to 111.1 in July from 111.9 in June.

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