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Several US economic indicators beat expectations today, reducing the appeal of the safe-haven precious metal. Spot gold was trading down 2% at $1201.5 per troy ounce by mid-afternoon in New York, after breaking through the $1200 barrier earlier to touch a low of $1196.75, the lowest level since August 2010.
The number of individuals filing for unemployment insurance for the first time fell last week by 9,000 to 346,000, which was just about in line with expectations. The drop takes the four-week moving average down to 345,750, and suggests the labour market is slowly improving.
A separate report showed that consumer spending bounced back in May, climbing 0.3% after declining in 0.3% April, while personal income rose 0.5% in May.
The most positive data was from the housing sector, with the National Association of Realtors revealing that pending home sales leaped 6.7% last month. Based on data we’ve seen this week, the housing market is showing few signs of being held back by the rise in mortgage rates.
All these positive signs for the economy are not good for gold, especially given that inflation shows no signs of heating up. A slow growth, low inflation environment is not the kind of story that supports the price of gold.