© Reuters.  Gold rises as U.S. inflation data damps Fed rate hike expectations© Reuters. Gold rises as U.S. inflation data damps Fed rate hike expectations

Investing.com – Gold prices rose on Friday as weaker-than-expected U.S. inflation data added to doubts over the Federal Reserve’s plans to raise interest rates once more this year.

Gold futures for December delivery settled up 0.69% at $1,305.40 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, bringing the week’s gains to 2.03%.

Consumer prices rose 0.5% last month after advancing 0.4% in August the Labor Department reported Friday. Economists had forecast a 0.6% increase.

It was the largest increase in eight months, but was mainly driven by soaring gasoline prices after hurricanes hit the southern U.S. Underlying inflation remained subdued.

The report came after the minutes of the Fed’s September meeting published on Wednesday showed “many participants expressed concern that the low inflation readings this year might reflect not only transitory factors, but also the influence of developments that could prove more persistent.”

The data tempered expectations that the Fed will hike interest rates in December for a third time this year.

Gold is highly sensitive to rising rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed at 93.62 late Friday, not far from the more than two-week lows of 92.59 earlier in the session.

A weaker dollar makes gold futures, which are denominated in the U.S. currency, cheaper for foreign buyers.

Elsewhere in precious metals trading, silver was at $17.44 a troy ounce late Friday, while platinum settled at $948.80.

Among base metals, copper ended Friday up 0.45% at $3.134 a pound, boosted by strong import data out of China. Chinese copper imports rose to a six-month high last month. The country accounts for almost half the world’s copper consumption.

In the week ahead, investors will be looking at U.S. housing data to assess the economic impact of the hurricanes which hit the southern U.S. last month.

Thursday’s data on third quarter Chinese growth will be closely watched for insight into the health of the world’s second largest economy.

Tuesday’s UK inflation data will also be in focus amid speculation over a possible rate hike by the Bank of England as soon as next month.

Ahead of the coming week, Investing.com has compiled a list of these and other significant events likely to affect the markets.

Monday, October 16

China is to release inflation data.

Canada is to report on foreign securities purchases and the country’s central bank is to publish its business outlook survey.

The U.S. is to release data on manufacturing activity in the New York region.

Tuesday, October 17

New Zealand is to release data on consumer inflation.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is to publish the minutes of its latest policy setting meeting.

The UK is to release inflation data. Later in the day, Bank of England Governor Mark Carney is to appear before the Treasury Select Committee, in London.

The ZEW Institute is to report on German economic sentiment.

The euro zone is to release revised inflation data.

The U.S. is to release figures on industrial production and import prices.

Wednesday, October 18

ECB President Mario Draghi is to deliver the opening remarks at the banks conference in Frankfurt.

The UK is to publish its latest employment report.

The U.S. is to release data on building permits and housing starts.

Thursday, October 19

Australia is to publish its latest jobs report as well as private sector data on business confidence.

China is to release data on third quarter GDP growth along with reports on fixed asset investment and industrial production.

The UK is to report on retail sales.

The U.S. is to release the weekly report on jobless claims and data on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Friday, October 20

The UK is to release data on public sector borrowing.

Canada is to report on retail sales and inflation.

The U.S. is to round up the week with data on existing home sales.

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