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BENGALURU: Gold prices eased on Thursday as the dollar staged a rebound ahead of US inflation data, although bullion was heading for its second monthly rise boosted by hopes that the Federal Reserve would cut interest rates soon.

Spot gold eased 0.3% to $2,038.59 per ounce by 1207 GMT. Bullion is up 2.8% so far this month after rising 7.3% in October. US gold futures for December delivery fell 0.4% to $2,039.40.

The dollar index extended gains against its rivals, making gold more expensive for other-currency holders. However, the greenback was still on track for its worst month in a year.

“The downside risk for gold now is the idea that the declines being seen in the pace of inflation start to slow and those rate cut bets get pared back as inflation becomes stickier,” Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets, said. Market focus is now on the US personal consumption expenditure data, the Fed’s preferred inflation gauge, at 1330 GMT.

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