Gold futures little changed as focus remains on U.S. budget


Shutterstock photo - Gold futures were little changed during European early afternoon trading hours on Friday, as investors continued to focus on developments in the U.S. after the government was forced to shut down this week due to Congress' failure to reach an agreement on the new budget.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at USD1,3317.20 a troy ounce during European afternoon hours, down 0.03%.

The December contract ended 0.23% lower on Thursday to settle at USD1,317.60 a troy ounce.

Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,302.30 a troy ounce, Thursday's low and resistance at USD1,337.80, the high from October 1.

Demand for the safe haven precious metal remained supported as investors continued to weigh the implications of a protracted U.S. government shutdown.

On Thursday, disappointing U.S. service sector data added to concerns that the shutdown in Washington could have wider consequences on the U.S. economy.

The Institute of Supply Management said its non-manufacturing purchasing manager's index fell to a three-month low of 54.4 in September from a reading of 58.6 in August. Analysts had expected the index to decline to 57.4 last month.

The U.S. Labor Department on Thursday said the employment report for September will not be released as scheduled on Friday due to the government shutdown. It said a new release date had not been set.

Gold traders have closely been looking out for U.S. data reports recently to gauge if they will strengthen or weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to reduce its bond purchases.

Markets were also considering how the U.S. political deadlock will impact negotiations to raise the U.S. debt ceiling, which the U.S. Treasury Department has estimated will be reached by October 17.

Speaking overnight, International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde said the failure to raise the U.S. debt ceiling could hurt the global economy and warned U.S. growth could drop below 2% this year.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for December delivery slid 0.34% to trade at USD21.712 a troy ounce, while copper for December delivery eased 0.03% to trade at USD3.268 a pound. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing Forex and Currencies
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