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Gold prices up slightly following disappointing Philly Fed Survey data

Kitco News

(Kitco News) - The gold market continues to spin its wheels, seeing only a little movement as U.S. regional manufacturing data disappoints expectations, according to the Philadelphia Federal Reserve.

The Philly Fed said that its manufacturing business outlook dropped to a reading of 0.3 in December, down from November’s reading of 10.4 and significantly missing expectations; Consensus forecasts were calling for a reading around 8.1.

"The December Manufacturing Business Outlook Survey indicated essentially flat growth in the region’s manufacturing sector this month. Although they all remained positive, the indicators for general activity and employment declined, while the indicators for new orders and shipments edged higher," the report said. "The survey’s future indexes indicate that respondents continue to expect growth over the next six months"

It has been a very quiet week for gold ahead of the Christmas holiday season; economic data have not had much impact on prices lately. February gold futures last traded at $1,480.50 an ounce, up 0.12% on the day.

Despite the weaker-than-expected data, the components of the report were relatively positive; the new orders index rose to 9.4, up from November’s reading of 8.4; meanwhile, shipments increased to 15.9, up from the previous reading of 9.8.

One major weak spot in the region’s manufacturing sector was the labor market. The report said that its number of employees index dropped to 17.8, down from November’s reading of 21.5.

Some good news for gold prices, inflation pressure appear to be on the rise. The Prices paid index rose to 19, up from November’s reading of 7.8.

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