Investing.com - Gold prices rose marginally in Asia on Friday on
continued support from geopolitical tension with Russia over the
Crimean region of the Ukraine.
However, better-than-expected reports on U.S. retail sales and
jobless claims reminded investors the Federal Reserve remains on
track to continue tapering its monthly bond-buying program, keeping
gains in check.
Currently set at $65 billion in Treasury and mortgage debt
purchases a month, the Fed's bond-buying program suppresses
interest rates to spur recovery, which weakens the dollar and
bolsters gold's appeal as a hedge.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold
futures for April delivery traded at $1,373.70, up 0.09%, after
hitting an overnight session low of $1,365.00 and off a high of
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that U.S. retail sales
rose 0.3% in February, ending two months of declines and better
than market expectations for a 0.2% increase.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, also rose 0.3%
last month, beating expectations for a 0.2% rise.
Separately, the Department of Labor said the number of individuals
filing new claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell by
9,000 to a three-month low of 315,000 last week.
Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to rise by 6,000 last
The number trimmed gold's gains, as Federal Reserve officials have
said they'll pay close attention to data when deciding on the pace
at which the U.S. central bank scale back monthly asset purchases.
Meanwhile, silver for May delivery rose 0.22% at US$21.245 a troy
ounce, while copper futures for May delivery were down 0.16% at
US$2.918 a pound.
On Friday, the U.S. is to round up the week with data on producer
price inflation and preliminary data from the University of
Michigan on consumer sentiment.
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