WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Gold prices moved in a tight range on Friday as traders looked for direction even as the dollar edged up a bit despite rising hopes about a pause in interest rate hikes.
The yellow metal managed to settle higher after equities lost some ground due to profit taking and on concerns about the ongoing government shutdown and skepticism about a potential trade deal between the U.S. and China.
Recent comments by the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell that the central bank will be patient in determining when to hike interest rates weighed on greenback earlier in the day.
However, the currency forced its way up against most major currencies as the session progressed and the dollar index edged up slightly t0 95.20.
Gold futures for February ended up $2.10, or 0.2%, at $1,289.50 an ounce. On Thursday, gold futures ended down $4.60, or 0.4%, at $1,287.40 an ounce.
For the week, gold futures gained 0.3%.
Silver futures for March settled at $15.656 an ounce, down $0.013 from Thursday's close, while Copper futures for March ended at $2.662 for the session, gaining $0.025 for the session.
On the economic front, the Labor Department's report showed a slight drop in consumer prices in the month of December. The report said the consumer price index slipped by 0.1% in December after coming in unchanged in November. The slight drop in consumer prices matched economist estimates.
Energy prices showed another significant decrease during the month, plunging by 3.5% in December following a 2.2% slump in the previous month, led by falling gasoline prices.
The report showed food prices to have climbed by 0.4% in December, the largest increase since May of 2014. Excluding food and energy prices, the core consumer price index rose by 0.2% in December, matching the increases seen in the two previous months as well as expectations.
The report said the annual rate of consume price growth slowed to 1.9% in December from 2.2% in November, while the annual rate of core consumer price growth was unchanged at 2.2%.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX