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Gold Braces for First Dip in 6 Wks.

Gold prices barely moved on Friday ahead of a key U.S. inflation report, but prices were on track for their first weekly drop in six weeks on easing concerns of a major escalation of the Middle East crisis.

Spot gold edged 0.1% higher at $2,334.57 per ounce Friday. U.S. gold futures rose 0.2% at $2,346.70.

However, for the week, prices were down 2.3%, set for their biggest weekly drop since early December, after a major escalation in the Middle East crisis was avoided. Prices were down nearly $100 from an all-time high of $2,431.29 scaled on April 12.

Data showed that U.S. economic growth slowed more than predicted in the first quarter, but an increase in inflation underlined recent remarks from Federal Reserve members implying the central bank was in no urgency to cut interest rates.

Higher rates reduce the appeal of holding non-yielding gold.

Elsewhere, Spot silver rose 0.2% to $27.49 U.S. per ounce, spot platinum rose 0.8% to $921.45 U.S. and palladium gained 1.4% to $988.22 U.S. All three metals were headed for weekly declines.

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