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Gold prices were anchored in a narrow range on Friday as caution set in ahead of next week’s US Federal Reserve’s policy meeting that will be watched for any hint of an easing in its pace of rate rises.

Spot gold was little changed at $1,663.62 per ounce, as of 0521 GMT, while US gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,666.30.

“The softer dollar and lower yields have certainly helped gold to drag itself from its lows, but that’s no reason to be overly bullish on gold just yet,” said City Index analyst Matt Simpson.

The dollar index was headed for a 1% weekly drop on hopes for a Fed pivot.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yields held below the 4% threshold.

Data from the US Commerce Department showed third-quarter consumer spending slowed to 1.4%.

While the Fed is likely to announce another 75 basis-point (bp) rise at its meeting next week, traders expect a half-point increase in December.

The Fed’s sharp rate rises since March have driven gold down 9% this year, as it increases the opportunity cost of holding zero-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar.

“Gold is in for a better year in 2023 as the Fed pivot will have to arrive at some point … And the chickens may come home to roost as economies falter in a high-interest environment, so gold could glean from safe-haven demand,” Simpson said.

On the physical front, China’s gold consumption fell 4.36% in the first nine months of the year as the top consumer grappled with COVID-19, the China Gold Association said.

Gold prices rise

Spot silver fell 0.7% to $19.44 per ounce. Platinum was flat at $960.13 but was up more than 2% for the week.

Palladium rose 0.3% to $1,946.63 but was bound for a more than 3% drop for the week.

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