Gold Prices Hold Near Session Highs After Weak Empire State Survey Data
(Kitco News) - Gold prices are holding near session highs after the New York Federal Reserve reported weaker than expected growth in the region’s manufacturing sector.
Friday, the regional central bank said its general business conditions index in the Empire State manufacturing survey eased modestly to a reading of 18 in December, from 19.4 in November.
According to consensus forecasts, economists were expecting to see a reading of 18.8.
Gold has added to recent gains, Friday as a result of a weaker U.S. dollar and remains elevated in initial reaction to the data. February gold futures last traded at $1,263.60 an ounce, up 0.52% on the day.
Looking at the components of the report, the New Orders Index dropped to a reading of 19.5, down from November’s reading of 20.7. Employment also lost some momentum with the Number of Employees Index coming in at 5.1, down from November’s reading of 11.5.
Positive for gold, which is historically seen as an inflation hedge, the report noted a rise in prices pressures in the manufacturing sector. The Price Paid Index increased to a reading of 29.7, up from the previous level of 24.6.