Gold Jumps To Highest Since September

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WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Gold futures continued to rise Friday, extending strong weekly gains after tame US inflation data.

The Federal Reserve is widely expected to keep interest rates on hold in the first quarter due to stubbornly low inflation.

In fact, today, New York Fed President William Dudley said to expect a "boring" 2018 in terms of monetary policy. The Fed has projected three modest rate hikes over the course of the year.

Feb. gold climbed USD12.40, or 0.9%, to settle at USD1,334.90/oz., the highest since September.

The Commerce Department said retail sales increased by 0.4% in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.9% in November.

Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.4% compared to the 0.8% increase originally reported for the previous month.

Excluding auto sales, retail sales still rose by 0.4% in December after jumping by 1.3% in November. The increase in ex-auto sales also matched estimates.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed consumer prices rose by less than expected in December, reflecting a sharp pullback in energy prices.

The consumer price index inched up by 0.1% in December after climbing by 0.4 in November. Economists had expected prices to rise by 0.2%.

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