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Gold Futures Settle Lower For The Session, Gain 0.9% In Week

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Gold prices drifted lower on Friday as the dollar firmed against major currencies amid rising prospects of tighter monetary policy by the Federal Reserve to rein in inflation.

Positive comments from Russian President Vladimir Putin about talks with Ukraine contributed as well to the drop in demand for the safe-haven commodity.

The dollar index climbed to 99.12, gaining more than 0.6%.

Gold futures for April ended lower by $15.40 or about 0.8% at $1,985.00 an ounce. Gold futures gained about 0.9% in the week.

Silver futures for May ended down by $0.096 at $26.160 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.6255 per pound, down $0.0270 from the previous close.

Data from the Labor Department on Thursday showed U.S. consumer price index rose by 0.8% in February (7.9% year-over-year), marking the highest growth since January 1982.

The Federal Reserve is scheduled to announce its policy coming Wednesday. The central bank is widely expected to hike interest rate by 25 basis points.

In economic news today, consumer sentiment in the U.S. fell to its lowest level in over ten years in the month of March, according to a report released by the University of Michigan.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index slid to 59.7 in March from 62.8 in February. Economists had expected the index to dip to 61.4. With the bigger than expected decrease, the consumer sentiment index dropped to its lowest level since hitting 59.5 in September 2011.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced “positive shifts” in the Russia-Ukraine peace talks at a meeting with his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko in Moscow on Friday.

“I will inform you about the situation in Ukraine, first of all about how the talks are going on, which are being held now almost on the daily basis. There are some positive shifts there as the negotiators from our side reported to me,” Putin said.

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