Gold Prices Near Daily Lows After Mixed Flash PMI Data
(Kitco News) - Gold prices remained near daily lows after the release of preliminary manufacturing and service-sector sentiment data.
The flash U.S. manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index for February declined to a reading of 53.7 from January’s 54.9, marking a 17th month low, research firm IHS Markit said in its report released on Thursday. The latest monthly figure came short of economists’ expectations.
At the same time, the firm’s service sector PMI reading rose to 56.2 from January’s 54.2, marking an eight-month high. Economists were projecting for the index to edge up to 54.4.
Any monthly reading above 50 points to an expanding sector, while anything below that shows contraction in activity.
Gold prices edged down to daily lows after the release of the PMI data, with April Comex gold futures last at $1,335.70, down 0.91% on the day.
Earlier this week, gold prices hit a fresh 10-month high as the metal’s technical posture improved.
Overall, activity in the service sector offset the slowdown in manufacturing, the report pointed out.
“Survey respondents noted that improving domestic economic conditions had underpinned a sustained rebound in new business so far in 2019. Resilient client demand also helped to boost job creation in February, with private sector payroll numbers rising at the fastest pace since last September,” the IHS said.
IHS Markit associate director Tim Moore noted improving economic growth, but warned that the impact from the longest U.S. government shutdown is not reflected in the data.
“Historical comparisons suggest the latest survey data are indicative of an underlying economic growth rate of around 2.5% annualized, although the PMI is designed to monitor private sector companies so the impact of the government shutdown may not be fully captured,” Moore said.