Oct 13 (Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed amid a steady dollar on Friday, halting a five-day rally as investors wait for key U.S.

inflation data for clues on the outlook for potential hikes in U.S. interest rates. FUNDAMENTALS * Spot gold was nearly unchanged at $1,293.76 an ounce at 0054 GMT after gaining for five straight sessions. * U.S. gold futures for December delivery were flat at $1,296.10 per ounce.

* The dollar steadied in early Asian trading on Friday, on track for weekly losses as investors awaited the U.S. inflation data to gauge the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will stick to its plan to raise interest rates again this year. * U.S. producer prices rose in September as the price of gasoline recorded its biggest gain in more than two years amid hurricane-related production disruptions at oil refineries in Texas.

* The Fed needs to mount a clear defence of its 2 percent inflation target and stop raising rates until the pace of price increases strengthens, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said on Thursday. * European Central Bank policymakers broadly agree to extend asset purchases at a lower volume at their October policy meeting with views converging on a nine-month extension, five people with direct knowledge of the discussion told Reuters.

* The head of the European Central Bank defended a pledge to keep interest rates at rock bottom on Thursday, batting back German calls for a speedy exit from years of easy money in the euro zone. * Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda on Thursday stressed the central bank's resolve to maintain its ultra-loose monetary policy, even as its U.S.

and European counterparts begin to dial back their massive, crisis-mode monetary www.goldprice.com stimulus. * The Russian central bank is considering buying gold on the Moscow Exchange, First Deputy Governor Ksenia Yudayeva said, TASS state news agency said, confirming an earlier report by Reuters.

* Republican lawmakers are considering indirect paths to meeting President Donald Trump's goal of slashing the corporate tax rate to 20 percent, one of the toughest challenges they face in trying to overhaul the U.S. tax code. * Canada's Barrick Gold Corp , the world's largest gold miner, estimated a decline in third-quarter gold production amid pressure from the Tanzanian government on its Acacia Mining unit.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT) * China Trade balance Sep 1230 U.S. Consumer prices Sep 1230 U.S. Retail sales Sep 1400 U.S. Business inventories Aug 1400 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index Oct *No fixed timing (Reporting by Apeksha Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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