Gold price drops below $1,850 as U.S. retail sales surprise on the upside in January
(Kitco News) Gold traded at new daily lows after retail sales rebounded sharply, beating expectations in January.
U.S. retail sales advanced 3% last month following a drop of 1.1% in December, according to the latest data from the U.S. Commerce Department. Economists expected an increase of 1.8% in last month’s headline number.
Core sales, which strip out vehicle sales, also beat expectations, rising 2.3% last month versus the projected advance of 0.8%. The report’s control group, which strips out autos, gas, building materials, and food services, followed the same trend, climbing 1.7% versus the expected 0.8% increase.
Immediately after the data release, gold fell after already registering early-morning losses of around $20. April Comex gold futures fell last traded at $1,842.60, down 1.22% on the day.
January's gains make up for December's weakness, said CIBC Capital Markets economist Katherine Judge.
"This data confirms that the quarter is off to a stronger start than previously thought and cements the need for higher interest rates for longer, as this leaves sales volumes in the control group 6% above their pre-pandemic trendline, reflecting a roughly 1.4% m/m increase in control group volumes," Judge said Wednesday.