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Gold On Hold As U.S. Durable-Goods Orders Reverse Gains In July

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices were largely unchanged after newly released data showed that orders for long-lasting U.S. factory goods fell in July after soaring in the previous month.

Orders for durable goods fell 6.8% last month after jumping 6.4% in June, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Market consensus called for durables to decline 6%.

Gold was fairly subdued Friday morning, as investors awaited key speeches from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi at the annual world central bankers symposium in Jackson Hole.

Immediately following the release December Comex gold was last trading at $1,291.10, down 0.07% on the day.

The monthly decline in durable-goods orders was largely led by the 19% drop in transportation equipment, which was down three of the last four months, the government said. Excluding transportation, new orders were up 0.5%. Excluding defense, new orders dropped 7.8%.

The government’s durables report covers items with an expected life of at least three years, such as kitchen appliances, computers, furniture, autos and airplanes.

Even though spending on durable goods represents a small part of American economic output, economists carefully watch for any changes as a sign of where the economy might be heading.

Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, described the July figure as “shockingly bad” with some “bright lights.”

“Overall, not enough of a surprise for markets to react, but reasonably good news once the aircraft noise is stripped out,” Shenfeld said referencing June’s massive huge swing in aircraft orders.

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