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Gold unchanged despite 2.4% rise in U.S. pending home sales

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(Kitco News) - The gold market remains under modest selling pressure as more U.S. consumers than expected started the process to buy a home in February, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Monday, the Association said that its pending home sales index rose 2.4% in February. The data was significantly better than expected as economists were expecting to see a 1.8% decline.

The data is having little impact on gold prices as markets are more focused on the economic impact of the spreading coronavirus. June gold futures last traded at $1,646.80 an ounce, down 0.44% on the day.

Economists pay close attention to the index is seen as a barometer for the housing market. A lag of a month or two usually exists between a contract and a completed sale. However, some economists are wondering how many contracts will fall through because of the growing economic crisis.

"Obviously, people without jobs or economic certainty aren't buying homes," said Adam Button, managing director of Forexlive.com.

Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. He noted that the data does not capture the significant fallout from the pandemic or the measures taken to control the outbreak.

“Numbers in the coming weeks will show just how hard the housing market was hit, but I am optimistic that the upcoming stimulus package will lessen the economic damage and we may get a V-shaped robust recovery later in the year,” he said.

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