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Gold prices lose some momentum following mixed U.S. retail sales data

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - Gold prices are off their session highs and are trying to hold above $1,500 an ounce following mixed retail sales data for August.

U.S. retail sales rose 0.4% in August following July’s of 0.8%, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department, released Friday; the data was better than as economists were expecting to see an increase of 0.2%.

However, core sales, which strips out vehicle sales were unchanged last month compared to July’s increase of 1.0%. The data was also beat expectations.

The control group, which excludes autos, gas, building materials, and food services increased 0.3% last month, in line with expectations.

Gold prices were holding on to steady gains ahead of the report but have lost some momentum in initial reaction. December gold futures last traded at $1,510.20, an ounce, up 0.19% on the day.

Although retails sales numbers were mixed, Adam Button, managing director at Forexlive.com said that it still shows a relatively healthy U.S. consumer.

“Overall, the consumer remains very strong and that is going to give the Fed some pause,” he said. A cut next week is a done deal but there's a very good case for Powell to push back against an October cut.”

Avery Shenfeld, senior economist at CIBC, said that the latest economic data shows that the U.S. consumer is the “key defence against recession threats.”

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