Gold is trading sideways in the Wednesday session, after sharp losses on Tuesday. In North American trade, the spot price for one ounce of gold is $1290.61, down 0.03% on the day. On the release front, construction numbers were mixed. Building Permits remained steady at 1.35 million, matching the forecast. Housing Starts dropped to 1.29 million, short of the estimate of 1.32 million. On Thursday, the U.S releases Philly Fed Manufacturing Index and unemployment claims.

In the U.S, retail sales and core retail sales posted gains in April, although both indicators fell short of the estimates. Still, consumer spending is improving after a sluggish first quarter. Investors liked what they saw, and the US dollar was broadly higher on Tuesday. At the same time, a new concern is higher gas prices, which could put a dent in consumers’ wallets and hurt spending. Oil prices have hit their highest levels in over 3 years, and with the US leaving the Iran nuclear deal and escalating tensions in the Middle East, gasoline prices could remain at high levels.

The U.S economy continues to perform well, but the Federal Reserve target of 2 percent remains elusive. CPI rebounded with a gain of 0.2%, but this fell short of the estimate of 0.3%. Core CPI edged lower to 0.1%, shy of the forecast of 0.2%. Inflation levels will be an important factor for the Fed in its monetary policy projection, which remains at two more hikes in 2018. The odds of a rate hike at the June hike stands close to 100%, and the US dollar could continue to make broad gains as we get closer to the June policy meeting.

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