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Gold Futures Settle Modestly Higher

Gold futures settled higher on Friday as the dollar stayed largely sluggish with traders looking ahead to the Federal Reserve's policy announcement, due next week.

However, the yellow metal pared a good portion of its earlier gains as data showed U.S. producer price inflation came in slightly higher than what economists had expected.

The dollar index, which surged to 105.14 after the data on producer price, dropped to around 104.70 by noon.

Gold futures for February ended higher by $9.20 or about 0.5% at $1,810.70 an ounce

Silver futures for March ended up $0.471 or about 2% at $23.717 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.8785 per pound, down $0.0050 or about 0.1% from the previous close.

The Labor Department said its producer price index for final demand rose by 0.3% in November, matching upwardly revised increases in October and September.

Economists had expected producer prices to inch up by 0.1% compared to the 0.2% uptick originally reported for the previous month.

A report from the University of Michigan showed one-year inflation expectations fell to a fifteen-month low of 4.6% in December from 4.9% in November, although five-year inflation expectations held at 3%.

The report said the consumer sentiment index climbed to 59.1 in December from 56.8 in November, while economists had expected the index to drop to 53.3.

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