Gold prices hit highest level in three weeks

London, Dec. 22 (BNA): Gold prices hit their highest level in nearly three weeks on Friday as rising bets on Federal Reserve interest rate cuts early next year pushed the dollar and bond yields lower ahead of eagerly awaited U.S. inflation data.

Spot gold was up 0.2% at $2,049.20 per ounce, as of 0513 GMT, after hitting its highest since December 4 earlier in the session. Bullion has risen 1.6% so far this week.

U.S. gold futures rose 0.5% to $2,061.40 per ounce.

Market participants expect the index to have risen 3.3% on an annual basis, compared to October’s 3.5%.

Silver gained 0.2% to $24.44 per ounce. Platinum rose 0.3% to $965.79 and palladium fell 0.7% to $1,205.26. All three metals were on track for their second consecutive weekly gains.

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