News Column

Gold Ends Lower On US Economic Data

May 29, 2014

WASHINGTON (Alliance News) - Gold futures dropped for a fourth straight session to end at a 3-1/2-month low Thursday, on some mostly positive economic data from the US even as investors tracked rising equity markets.

In economic news, first-time claims for US unemployment benefits fell much more than expected in the week ended May 24th, a report from the Labor Department showed.

A National Association of Realtors report on Thursday showed pending home sales in the US increased for the second consecutive month in April, although much less than anticipated.

Meanwhile, US gross domestic product declined in the first three months of 2014, primarily reflecting a downward revision to private inventory investment, a Commerce Department report showed Thursday, the first since the first quarter of 2011.

Gold for August delivery, the most actively traded contract, slipped USD2.60 or 0.2% to close at USD1,257.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday.

Gold for August delivery scaled an intraday high of USD1,261.50 and a low of USD1,251.40 an ounce.

On Wednesday, gold futures ended at a 3-1/2-month low, impacted by a strong dollar after some upbeat economic data.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, remained unchanged at 785.28 tons on Thursday from its previous close.

The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 80.48 on Thursday, down from its previous close of 80.55 late Wednesday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 80.56 intraday and a low of 80.36.

The euro traded higher against the dollar at USD1.3605 on Thursday, as compared to its previous close of USD1.3591 late Wednesday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of USD1.3625 intraday and a low of USD1.3586.

In economic news, revised government figures showed the US economy to have contracted by 1% in the first quarter, registering its biggest decline in three years. Economists expected revised figures to show a contraction of about 0.6%.

A Labor Department report showed jobless claims in the US to have declined to 300,000 in the week ended May 24, down 27,000 from the previous week. Economists expected jobless claims to dip to 317,000 from the 326,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, personal Consumption Expenditure in the US rose 3.1% in the first quarter, up from 3.0% in the previous quarter.

Data from the National Association of Realtors on Thursday showed pending home sales in US rose for the second consecutive month in April, although the rise was by a less than expected 0.4% to 97.8. In March, pending home sales had jumped 3.4%.

From Asia, retail sales in Japan contracted 4.4% on year in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said on Thursday - coming in at 11.011 trillion yen. That was shy of expectations for a contraction of 3.3% following the 11.0% spike in the previous month.

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Source: Alliance News

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