Futures & Commodities

Gold inches down as mixed Chinese data boosts equities


Spot gold edged lower on Monday as global stock markets gained with investors focussing on some upbeat economic readings from mixed Chinese economic data, while a firm dollar further weighed on bullion.

Spot gold fell about 0.26% to $1,411.8 per ounce. U.S. gold futures rose 0.1% to $1,413.60.

China's second-quarter annual GDP growth fell to a 27-year low of 6.2%, as expected, but its quarterly growth reading of 1.6% beat forecasts. June reports on industrial production, retail sales and urban investment were above expectations.

"The equity market is looking at the data positively and there is some risk appetite here," said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities in Toronto.

World shares rose towards an 18-month high following the data, denting appetite for gold. Meanwhile, the dollar was slightly higher against key rivals, in thin summer trading, making gold more expensive for holders of other currencies.

"The gold market is reacting more to bad data than good. The U.S. dollar seems to have found some support which may be weighing on gold," said Tai Wong, head of base and precious metals derivatives trading at BMO.

Investors await other data this week, such as U.S. retail sales and industrial production, for clues about the health of the world's largest economy.

The U.S. Federal Reserve releases its "Beige Book" on Wednesday, which markets will watch for comments on how trade tensions have affected the business outlook.

The yellow metal gained 1.1% last week on the back of expectations of an interest rate cut by the U.S. central bank, which also weighed on the dollar.

The outlook for gold remains positive, analysts said, with the metal likely to stay supported on expectations of a Fed rate cut and concerns of a global growth slowdown.

"Gold price action has been pretty choppy, but I could see us traversing $1,380-$1,440 from now until the Fed meeting in end-July, perhaps even more than once," BMO's Wong said.

Spot gold looks neutral in a narrow range of $1,404-$1,421 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

Spot palladium rose 1% to $1,560.93 per ounce. Silver added 0.3% to $15.26, after touching a near two-week high of $15.36 earlier this session.

Platinum gained 1.9% to $843.29 per ounce. Earlier in the session it rose to $844.92, its highest in two weeks.