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Gold prices were moving in a tight range on Wednesday and the dollar index edged up from a one-month low, as investors awaited a key U.S. jobs report for clues on when the Federal Reserve might start reducing its pandemic-era stimulus measures.

Spot gold was virtually unchanged at $1,813.48 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were down 0.1 percent at $1,815.55.

As worries about surging COVID-19 infections and higher inflation cast a shadow on the economic outlook, Friday’s U.S. nonfarm payrolls data is expected to influence the Fed’s stimulus tapering strategy.

A measure of U.S. consumer confidence hit a six-month low in August as consumers were put off by higher gasoline and grocery prices. Inflation in the U.S. is running at the highest level in 30 years based on the Federal Reserve’s preferred price barometer.

Inflation in the euro zone hit its highest level in almost a decade in August, according to an estimate from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat.

ECB policymaker Robert Holzmann said the central bank should start debating how it will phase out its pandemic-era stimulus.

Last week, Fed Chair Jerome Powell told policymakers he believes “substantial further progress” has been made on some metrics, but the Fed will carefully assess incoming data and the evolving risks before deciding on QE tapering.


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