Futures & Commodities

Gold slips on strong US retail data, equities rebound

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Gold fell on Monday, moving further off the key $1,300-per-ounce mark it briefly surpassed in the previous session, as global equities rallied following last week's slide with stronger-than-expected U.S. retail sales allaying some fears of an economic slowdown.

Spot gold was down 0.43 percent at $1,292.42 per ounce at 2:30 p.m. ET. , while U.S. gold futures settled $8.20 lower at $1,291.10.

Spot prices hit $1,300.61 on Friday, but quickly dipped back below the $1,300-per-ounce threshold.

"Retail sales were better, which means the economy isn't necessarily slowing as quickly as some have suggested," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto. U.S. retail sales rose 0.2 in January, surprising economists who expected it to remain unchanged.

The data could prompt a less dovish stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve, Melek added. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Sunday emphasized he would be closely monitoring how a slowing global economy affects conditions in the United States in order to decide the future of its interest rate trajectory.

Higher U.S. interest rates reduce investor interest in non-yielding bullion. Indicating improved appetite for riskier assets, global stocks left their worst week in the year behind, rallying on Monday following China's promise of further stimulus measures to cure their ailing economy.

"For the most part, investors are still most interested in the equity markets and are not finding a need for any safe-haven products at this time," Walter Pehowich, executive vice president of investment services at Dillon Gage Metals, said in a note.

Elsewhere, palladium was up 1.29 percent to $1,534.01 per ounce, while silver was down 0.17 percent at $15.28. Platinum fell 0.37 percent to $812.00 per ounce, after earlier touching $803.50 - its lowest since Feb. 19.

Speculators trimmed their net long positions in COMEX gold in the week to March 5, as bullion prices fell from 10-month highs and broke below the key $1,300 per ounce level. However, the net longs are up from record low levels touched in October.

Gold still has some impetus left, with concerns over the state of the global economy holding intact, analysts said.

"As we move into 2019, we should start seeing some weaker fundamentals in the U.S. as the higher interest rates over the last year start having a negative impact and as we see the fiscal stimulus from the Trump tax cuts wear off," TD Securities' Melek added. Investors are now eyeing a key Brexit vote in the British parliament on Tuesday.