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 regionâ€™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 Novemberâ€™s reading of 20.7. Employment also lost some momentum with the Number of Employees Index coming in at 5.1, down from Novemberâ€™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.