17.09.202110:49:00UTC+00Gold Edges Higher In Cautious Trade

Gold edged higher on Friday but still headed for a weekly decline as the dollar held firm ahead of next week's FOMC meeting.

Spot gold rose 0.6 percent to $1,764.26 per ounce while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4 percent at $1,764.50.

Gold fell nearly 3 percent in the previous session as retail sales and jobless claims figures came in above expectations, giving ammunition to bets on early Fed tapering.

The dollar held close to a near three-week peak after a report from the Commerce Department showed that retail sales climbed by 0.7 percent in August after plunging by a revised 1.8 percent in July.

The rebound surprised economists, who had expected retail sales to decrease by another 0.8 percent compared to the 1.1 percent slump originally reported for the previous month.

A separate report from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rebounded by slightly more than expected in the week ended September 11th.

The Federal Reserve hold its next policy meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday, a session that will include the release of fresh economic projections and a new read on officials' interest rate expectations.

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