Gold steady above $1,900 Friday morning despite a strong dollar and an ongoing stalemate in U.S. stimulus talks. The yellow metal slipped a touch on this morning’s U.S. Retail sales report for September, and could hit its first weekly decline in three weeks.
Last month, retail sales rose 1.9%, a positive indicator for a key sector of the U.S. economy. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones expected sales to rise 0.7%, up from a 0.6% rise in August.
Gold futures rose $1.60 Thursday to settle at $1,908.90 an ounce on Comex. The December contract dropped 0.9% in the first four days of the week. The yellow metal is up almost $400 — or 25% — so far this year as investors have flocked to gold because of uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic and the economy. The December contract is currently up $2.60 to $1,911.50 an ounce, while the DG spot price is $1,908.50.
Holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, slipped 0.15% Thursday to 1,276.06 metric tons, Reuters reported.
The dollar traded near a two-week high, pressuring the price of the yellow metal. Meanwhile, the possibility of a stimulus package — which would be bullish for gold — continued to seem far away as the White House and House Democrats continued to spar over the details.
Trump on Thursday floated the possibility that a stimulus measure would pass before the election, but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell swiftly nixed the possibility of bringing to the floor any package of $1.8 trillion or more.
But uncertainty over the economy, the upcoming U.S. presidential election and stalled vaccine trials put a floor under prices, making gold a more attractive hedge investment.
Pandemic-related lockdowns have sent millions of Americans into unemployment. Initial jobless claims for last week climbed to the highest level since mid-August in data released Thursday by the Labor Department.
The virus known as COVID-19 has killed almost 1.1 million people worldwide and sickened 38.8 million. About 21% of the cases — and 20% of the deaths — are in the U.S. The country has 7.98 million cases, more than any other nation.
Silver futures decreased 0.7% Thursday to settle at $24.22 an ounce on Comex. The December contract lost 3.5% in the first four days of the week. The most active contract plunged 18% in September after gaining 18% in August and soaring 30% in July. The December contract is currently up $0.276 to $24.500, while the DG spot price is $24.46.
Spot palladium declined 0.2% Thursday to $2,360.00 an ounce and fell 4.4% in the first four days of the week. Spot platinum edged up $1.40 Thursday to $868.30 an ounce and retreated 2.9% so far this week. The DG spot price for palladium is currently at $21.20, while platinum is $873.90.
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