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Gold eases from 3-week high ahead of U.S. retail sales data

© Reuters. Gold futures fall from 3-week high ahead of key U.S. data - Gold prices declined for the first time in six sessions on Thursday, but remained near a three-week high as investors looked ahead to U.S. retail sales data later in the session for further indications on the strength of the economy and the timing of an interest rate hike.

Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange shed $2.90, or 0.26%, to trade at $1,120.70 a troy ounce during European morning hours after hitting a session high of $1,126.30, the most since July 20.

The Commerce Department is expected to report at 8:30AM ET that retail sales rose by 0.5% in July, after falling 0.3% in June. Core sales are forecast to gain 0.4%, after dipping 0.1% a month earlier.

The U.S. is also to release data on initial jobless claims, import prices and business inventories later Thursday.

A day earlier, gold rallied $15.90...