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Gold prices eased on Friday, but were set for their biggest weekly gain in more than eight months, as US data pointing to slowing inflation boosted hopes that the Federal Reserve would slow its aggressive rate hikes.

Spot gold was 0.2% down at $1,751.29 per ounce, as of 0240 GMT.

Prices have risen 4.2% so far in the week. US gold futures fell 0.1% to $1,752.80.

The dollar index steadied after Thursday’s fall, but was headed for its biggest weekly drop since March 2020.

A weaker dollar makes gold more appealing to overseas buyers.

US consumer prices rose less than expected in October, indicating that inflation was slowing, which raised hopes that the Fed will begin scaling back its hefty rate hikes.

“The softer-than-expected CPI print supports the case for a step down in the pace of hike at the December Fed meeting that can translate into a resumption of the dollar trend lower, providing a window for gold to stage a mild recovery,” said Christopher Wong, OCBC FX strategist.

“Prices are slightly lower due to some profit-taking. After a sharp rally, gold needs to consolidates first, but if the euphoria continues, prices could move higher.” Market participants are now seeing a 71.5% chance of a 50-basis-point rate hike at the Fed’s December meeting.

Gold climbs 2pc

Gold is considered a hedge against inflation, but rising interest rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion.

The biggest challenge facing central bankers now is bringing inflation down, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said on Thursday, as her deputy warned of the growing risk of economic fragmentation.

Spot silver fell 0.4% to $21.59 per ounce, but was poised for its second straight weekly rise.

Platinum rose 0.2% to $1,034.31 per ounce, heading for its biggest weekly gain since February 2021. Palladium slipped 0.5% to $1,954.29.

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