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Gold Dips After Feb. ISM Service-Sector Index Rises To 59.7%

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(Kitco News) - Gold prices slipped after the Institute for Supply Management said Tuesday that its headline index for the service sector rose to 59.7% in February. Spot metal was last down $3.80 to $1,282.60 an ounce.

“This represents continued growth in the non-manufacturing sector, at a faster rate,” said Anthony Nieves, chair of the ISM non-manufacturing business survey committee.

The headline index stood at 56.7% in January. Consensus estimates compiled by news organizations called for the February index to be somewhere around 57.2% to 57.5%.

The report came out at the same time as the government’s report on sales of new homes, which also topped forecasts.

In the ISM survey, the index for non-manufacturing business activity/production rose to 64.7% from 59.7% in January, while the reading for new orders rose to 65.2% from 57.7%.

The employment index slid to 55.2% in February from 57.8% the prior month, while the prices index fell to 54.4% from 59.4%.

Readings above 50% in such diffusion indexes are seen as a sign of economic growth, and vice-versa. The farther an indicator is above or below 50%, the greater or smaller the rate of change.

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