By Amrith Ramkumar and Christopher Alessi
Gold prices inched higher Friday, lifted by declines in stocks and U.S. Treasury yields after data showed U.S. consumer prices fell in December and wages rose.
Gold for February delivery ticked up 0.1% to $1,288.70 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices are near their highest level since June, boosted by a weaker dollar that has made gold cheaper for overseas buyers and market turbulence that has pushed some investors toward the haven asset.
However, the gold rally has paused in recent sessions with stocks and Treasury yields rebounding from last week's lows and some analysts more confident in the U.S. economy.
Analysts said Friday's muted inflation reading could reinforce that faith by fueling more bets that the Federal Reserve will be able to stay patient with interest rates.
Still, stocks and Treasury yields edged lower, paring some of this week's advance, while the WSJ Dollar Index, which tracks the dollar against a basket of 16 other currencies, was little changed.
Elsewhere in precious metals, most-active silver futures fell 0.2% to $15.610 a troy ounce. Platinum was down 0.5% at $821.90, while palladium rose 1% to $1,285.70.
Among base metals, most-active copper futures inched up 0.2% to $2.6420 a pound, staying about 20% below its June four-year peaks on fears that slowing global growth will lower demand for industrial materials used in manufacturing and construction.
On the London Metal Exchange, aluminum for delivery in three months fell 0.9% to $1,844 a metric ton. Zinc rose 0.5% to $2,473.50, tin climbed 1% to $20,345, nickel added 1.1% to $11,370 and lead fell 0.4% to $1,968.
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