Gold Attempts To Break Away From Daily Lows As U.S. Existing Home Sales Disappoint
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(Kitco News) - Gold prices edged up from nearly three-week lows after U.S. pre-existing homes sales missed expectations in April, according to the latest report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Existing home sales decreased 0.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted and annualized rate of 5.19 million units, compared to March’s annualized rate of 5.21 million homes, the association said on Tuesday. The drop comes following a sharp decline of 4.9% in March. Economists were expecting to see an advance of 2.7% to 5.35 million units.
Gold prices were largely unchanged after the data was released, with June Comex gold futures last seen trading at $1,270.70, down 0.52% on the day.
Gold began the North American session on Tuesday by touching two-week lows as risk appetite improved and the U.S. dollar climbed.
“So far this week, trader and investor risk appetite is more upbeat, which is bearish for the safe-haven gold and silver markets … The key ‘outside markets’ today see the U.S. dollar index firmer and not far below this year’s high, which is a two-year high,” said Kitco’s senior technical analyst Jim Wyckoff.
The drop in existing-home sales was very minor, the NAR said, noting that it is not “overly” concerned with the data.
“First, we are seeing historically low mortgage rates combined with a pent-up demand to buy, so buyers will look to take advantage of these conditions,” NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said. “Also, job creation is improving, causing wage growth to align with home price growth, which helps affordability and will help spur more home sales.”
The median price for all home types in April was at $267,300, up 3.6% on an annual basis, marking the 86th straight month of annual gains.
At the same time, the association said that total inventory rose 1.7% over the past year to 1.83 million existing homes available for sale.
“We see that the inventory totals have steadily improved, and will provide more choices for those looking to buy a home,” Yun said. He notes that sellers have to realize that price growth has moderated. “When placing their home on the market, home sellers need to be very realistic and aware of the current conditions.”