Gold prices edge down amid mixed U.S. housing data
Editor's Note: The article was updated to a reflect weaker prices in delayed reaction to the latest U.S. housing data.
(Kitco News) Gold prices edged up and then lost their ground following the release of the U.S. housing data from September, with housing starts disappointing and building permits beating expectations.
U.S. housing starts declined 9.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.256 million units in September, the Commerce Department said on Thursday. Consensus forecasts compiled by most news organizations called for starts to be around 1.320 million. August’s data was upwardly revised to 1.386 million units. For the year, housing starts were up 1.6%.
At the same time, building permits data, which is a precursor to future projects, was down just 2.7% at 1.387 million in September after August’s total of 1.425 million. For the year, building permits rose 7.7% from the September 2018 levels.
Following the release, gold prices first advanced into the green territory and then dropped back into the red. December Comex gold futures were last trading at $1,492.80, down 0.08% on the day.
A mixed set of housing data left economists hopeful in terms of future outlook due to the single-family component.
“Single-family homebuilding actually ticked up and is in the top end of its range seen since mid-2018, with lower interest rates working to support demand and homebulider confidence. The pace of permit issuance, while decelerating, was stronger than expected at 1387K, which, combined with the slight acceleration in single-family permits bodes well for the residential investment outlook ahead,” wrote CIBC Capital Markets economist Katherine Judge.