Gold prices were steady on Thursday as market participants refrained from making big moves ahead of key U.S. inflation reading that could influence the size of the Federal Reserve's next interest rate hike.
* Spot gold held its ground at $1,672.79 per ounce, as of 0026 GMT.
* U.S. gold futures were up 0.1% at $1,679.80.
* U.S. Consumer Price Index due at 1230 GMT could offer cues on the Fed's next rate hike move.
* Gold is considered as an inflation hedge, but rising interest rates reduce the appeal of bullion, which yields no interest.
* Fed policymakers agreed they needed to move to a more restrictive policy stance, and then maintain that for some time, in order to meet the U.S. central bank's goal of lowering inflation, a readout of last month's two-day meeting showed on Wednesday.
* ECB President Christine Lagarde singled out interest rate hikes as the best tool to fight runaway inflation in the euro zone.
* Meanwhile, Britain's economy looks set to go into recession as data showed it unexpectedly shrank in August.
* The world's most important certifier of gold refineries said on Wednesday it wants to recognise firms that gather and refine gold dug up by small-scale miners in developing countries.
* Spot silver fell 0.2% to $19.03 per ounce, while platinum rose 0.3% to $882.94 and palladium gained 0.4% to $2,143.69.
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