KITCO NEWS - Gold continues to extend its gains and is within striking distance of $1,300 an ounce, but Friday's consumer price index (CPI) read might put a damper on the metal's rally, this according to one trader. 'The metal has not traded above $1,300 this year and is primed to do so ahead of the weekend. The only thing now standing in the way should be tomorrow morning's CPI read,' Bill Baruch, chief market strategist for iitrader.com, told Kitco News on Thursday. The Core CPI measure, which studies consumer prices less volatile changes in food and energy, is seen increasing 0.2% in July. Inflation matters for gold, as it weakens the value of the U.S. dollar, Baruch explained. December gold finished up the session almost 1% higher at $1,290.10 an ounce, marking the highest level for a most-active contract since June 7, when the metal finished at $1,293.20 an ounce.

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