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Gold hits 2-week high after U.S. data, Iraq unrest in spotlight

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Gold prices rose to a fresh two-week high on Thursday, as weaker than expected U.S. data on retail sales and initial jobless claims underlined concerns over the health of the U.S. economy.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery rose to a session high of $1,268.00 a troy ounce, the most since May 27, before coming off the highs to last trade at $1,265.70 during U.S. morning hours, up 0.36%, or $4.60.

Gold ended Wednesday's session up 0.09%, or $1.10, to settle at $1,261.20.

Prices were likely to find support at $1,241.20 an ounce, the low from June 5 and near-term resistance at $1,294.70, the high from May 27.

The U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales inched up by a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month, missing expectations for a 0.6% increase. Retail sales for April were revised up to a 0.5% gain from a previously reported increase of 0.1%.

Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, eased up by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% in May, disappointing forecasts for a 0.2% increase. Core sales in April were revised up to a rise of 0.4% from a previously reported flat reading.

A separate report from the Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 7 increased by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 317,000 from the previous week's revised total of 313,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 3,000 to 310,000 last week.

Meanwhile, investors monitored developments in Iraq, where insurgents linked to al-Qaeda reportedly took full control of the northern oil city of Kirkuk on Thursday and moved closer to the capital, Baghdad.

On Wednesday, militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, seized the northern cities of Mosul and Tikrit, renewing concerns over a disruption to supplies from the region.

The U.S. said that it is working with Iraq's leaders on a coordinated response to regain lost territory and would provide additional assistance to Baghdad.

Also on the Comex, silver for July delivery inched up 0.42%, or 8.0 cents, to trade at $19.25 a troy ounce, the most since May 27.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for July delivery dipped 0.19%, or 0.6 cents, to trade at $3.035 a pound.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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