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Gold prices unchanged on the day following rise in U.S. housing starts, building permits

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(Kitco News) - The gold market continues to trade in a tight range seeing little reaction to growing momentum in the U.S. housing sector.

U.S. housing starts rose 3.2% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.365 million units in November, the Commerce Department said on Friday. Consensus forecasts compiled by most news organizations called for starts to be around 1.34 million. October’s data was upwardly revised to 1.323 million units.

For the year, housing starts are up more than 13%, compared to November 2018 levels.

At the same time, building permits data, which is a precursor to future projects, was up 1.4% at 1.482 million lath month, up from October’s revised level of 1.461 million. Economists were expecting to see 1.41 million permits. Building permits are up 11% compared to last year.

With most traders and investors looking ahead to the holiday season, gold is seeing little reaction to economic data. February gold futures last traded at $1,481.70 an ounce, relatively unchanged on the day.

Katherine Judge, senior economist at CIBC, said that more positive data in the housing market will continue to ease slowdown fears.

“With homebuilder confidence at its highest level in over two decades amidst lower interest rates, and a strong labor market, residential investment should contribute to growth in the US in the first quarter,” she said.

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