13 February 2015
Gold Gains for Second Day as Retail Sales Data Hurt U.S. Outlook
(Bloomberg) - Gold rose for a second day, extending a rebound from the lowest level in a month, as falling retail sales in the U.S. cast doubt on the pace of growth in the world’s largest economy, boosting demand for a haven.
Bullion for immediate delivery rose as much as 0.5 percent to $1,227.76 an ounce and traded at $1,227.67 at 11:45 a.m. in Singapore, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal ended 0.3 percent higher on Thursday after first dropping to $1,215.30, the lowest level since Jan. 9. Gold hasn’t posted a back-to-back daily gain since Jan. 16.
Gold added 3.7 percent this year as the Greek debt crisis and more stimulus in Europe and Asia offset the impact of a stronger dollar and prospects for higher U.S. rates. Talks between Greek negotiators and euro-area officials will resume in Brussels on Friday after ministers failed on Thursday to hammer out terms for an extension of the country’s bailout. While the dollar fell by the most in nearly five months after the retail sales figures, it’s still near a 10-year high.
The weaker retail sales data may improve gold’s appeal, Mark To, research head at Wing Fung Financial Group, a trader and refiner in Hong Kong, said by phone on Friday. Investors will also watch for signals from the Greek talks, as well developments on Ukraine after a cease fire was agreed this week between the government and pro-Russian rebels, according to To.
The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was at 1,163.71 from 1,163.11 on Thursday, when it fell 1 percent. The index closed at 1,174.87 on Wednesday, highest since at least December 2004. Lower fuel prices and higher wages failed to spur an uptick in U.S. retail sales, which fell for a second month in January.
In China, the world’s second-largest user, volumes for Shanghai Gold Exchange’s benchmark contract for bullion of 99.99 percent rose on Tuesday to the highest level since April 2013, and held near that level on Thursday, bourse data showed. The country’s financial markets will be closed for the Lunar New Year break, which starts next week.
Gold is still set for a third week of losses, the longest streak since September. Should Greece and the euro zone manage to come to an agreement, investors’ risk sentiment should improve, hurting precious metals, ABN Amro Group NV said a note. Gold may also drop as the dollar gains, it said.
Bullion for April delivery increased 0.5 percent to $1,227 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Silver for immediate delivery gained 0.7 percent to $16.9694 an ounce, heading for a weekly climb. Spot platinum was 0.5 percent higher at $1,204.44 an ounce. Palladium added 0.4 percent to $777.63 an ounce.