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Gold gains as dollar weakens ahead of cenbank meetings

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Gold prices edged higher on Friday due to a weaker dollar, while investors held back making large bets ahead of U.S. inflation data and a slew of central bank meetings with key focus on the Federal Reserve.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $1,793.20 per ounce, as of 1007 GMT. U.S. gold futures rose 0.3% to $1,805.90.

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“Investors are in a wait-and-see mode. They are just waiting for the Fed and the European Central Bank meeting next week, which are going to be the final key market driver for this year,” said Carlo Alberto De Casa, external analyst at Kinesis Money.

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The two-day U.S. central bank policy meeting ends on Dec. 14 and the policymakers are expected to announce a 50-basis-point hike in the lending rate.

In addition, the European Central Bank and the Bank of England are also set to announce interest rate decisions next week.

Lower interest rates tend to be beneficial for bullion as they decrease the opportunity cost of holding the non-yielding asset.

Also on the radar, the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) report for November is due on Dec. 13.

If the Fed slows the pace as per expectations, along with a relatively moderate CPI print, “then dollar might weaken and all of a sudden you could see a perfect storm rushing over gold’s horizon,” said Clifford Bennett, chief economist at ACY Securities.

The dollar was down 0.1% against its rivals, making gold less expensive for other currency holders.

On the physical side, gold premiums in China rose this week as demand picked up after the top consumer eased its COVID-19 restrictions.

Elsewhere, spot silver was flat at $23.06 per ounce, platinum eased 0.2% to $1,003.75. Palladium fell 0.1% to $1,924.87, but was headed for a second straight weekly gain. (Reporting by Brijesh Patel and Ashitha Shivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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