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Gold Pares Gain As U.S. Dec. Retail Sales Rise 0.4%

Kitco News

Editor's Note: Updating earlier story with more details from report, current prices.

(Kitco News) - Gold futures pared overnight gains slightly after a Commerce Department report Friday showing that U.S. retail sales rose by 0.4% to $495.4 billion in December.

Sales excluding autos were also up 0.4%.

The headline number was slightly below consensus expectations compiled by news organizations that had been for around a 0.5% rise in overall sales. However, sales for the prior month were revised upward from a gain of 0.8% to 0.9%.

December sales excluding autos were forecast to be up 0.3%.

As of 8:39 a.m. EST, Comex February gold was up $5.90 to $1,328.40 an ounce an ounce. Two minutes prior to reports on retail sales and the Consumer Price Index, the metal was up $9.60 to $1,332.10 an ounce.

On a 12-month basis, December retail sales rose 4.2%.

Consumer purchases make up the single largest component of U.S. gross domestic product, thus market participants closely monitor the data as a gauge of the economy.

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