Gold Marches Higher On The Back Of More Bleak Economic Data

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Gold prices ended higher well above $US1,700 an ounce on Friday as more poor US economic figures underlined the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Friday’s US data for retail sales and industrial output was overwhelmingly weak.

US retail sales plunged by a record 16.4% in April and fell 16.2% excluding automobile sales and petrol prices after sales slumped by a revised 8.3% in March, up from the originally reported 8.7% drop.

The data showed that retail sales tumbled in every category except online shopping. It was the worst back-to-back declines in retail sales in modern American history and much worse than the 12.5% slump forecast in a poll by MarketWatch.com.

At the same time, industrial production slumped sharply as well, down a record 11.2% as manufacturing output fell by a steeper 13.7%.

The Federal Reserve data revealed the most severe plunge on record last month with factories, mines and utilities battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Comex gold for June delivery jumped $US15.40, or 0.9%, to settle at $$US1,756.30 an ounce on Friday.

Prices for the most-active contract marked their highest settlement since April 14, according to data firm FactSet.

Comex July silver surged 91.4 cents, or 5.7%, to end at $US17.07 an ounce, settling above the significant $US17 support level for the first time since early March.

For the week, gold was up by a solid 2.5% based on the most-active contract, while silver jumped by 8.2%.

Comex July copper fell by 0.7% to $US2.3305 a pound, for a weekly loss of 3.1%.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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