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Gold Futures Settle Lower As Dollar Advances On Rate Hike Bets

Gold prices drifted lower on Friday as the dollar strengthened against most of its major rivals amid rising bets the Federal Reserve will continue to aggressively hike interest rates to tame inflation.

The dollar index, which was down at 106.34 in the Asian session, rallied to 106.96 this afternoon, gaining about 0.25%.

Gold futures for December ended lower by $8.60 or about 0.5% at $1,754.40 an ounce, the lowest settlement in more than a week.

Silver futures for December ended up $0.022 at $20.997 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.6320 per pound, down $0.0560 from the previous close.

In U.S. economic news today, the National Association of Realtors' report showed a substantial decrease in existing home sales in the month of October.

NAR said existing home sales plummeted by 5.9% to an annual rate of 4.43 million in October after slumping by 1.5% to a rate of 4.71 million in September.

Existing home sales decreased for the ninth consecutive month, resulting in a 28.4% nosedive compared to the same month a year ago.

A separate report released by the Conference Board showed a much bigger than expected decrease by its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators in the month of October.

The Conference Board said its leading economic slumped by 0.8 percent in October after falling by a revised 0.5% in September. Economists had expected the index to decrease by 0.4%, matching the drop originally reported for the previous month.

Noting the index fell for the eight straight month, Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics, at The Conference Board, said the data suggests the economy is "possibly in a recession."

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