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Gold prices ignore rise in February U.S. consumer confidence

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(Kitco News) - Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell noted that the U.S. economy faces a difficult recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic; however, it appears that U.S. consumers are optimistic that U.S. economic activity will improve.

Tuesday, the U.S. Conference Board said that its Consumer Confidence Index rose to a reading of 91.3, up from January's revised reading of 88.9. The data beat expectations as economists were expecting a reading around 90.2.

The latest economic data is having little impact on gold prices. The gold market is struggling to find new buying momentum as it holds initial support above $1,800. April gold futures last traded at $1,806.70 an ounce, relatively unchanged on the day.

Looking at components of the report, The Present Situation Index climbed to a reading of 92.0, up from January's reading of 85.5; however, the Expectation Index dropped to a reading of 90.8, down from the previous reading of 91.2.

"After three months of consecutive declines in the Present Situation Index, consumers' assessment of current conditions improved in February," said Lynn Franco, senior director of economic indicators at The Conference Board. "This course reversal suggests economic growth has not slowed further. While the Expectations Index fell marginally in February, consumers remain cautiously optimistic, on the whole, about the outlook for the coming months.

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