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Gold futures hit 3-month highs on soft U.S. data

Commodities May 18, 2015 04:51AM ET
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© Reuters. Gold futures hits fresh 3-month highs
 
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Investing.com - Gold prices rose to fresh three month highs on Monday after the latest in a series of weak U.S. economic reports reinforced expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep rates on hold for longer.

Gold futures for June delivery were at $1,227.8 a troy ounce, after hitting highs of $1,231.9, the most since February 17.

The greenback pushed higher but remained on the defensive after data on Friday showed that U.S. industrial production fell for the fifth straight month in April and another report showed that U.S. consumer sentiment deteriorated to a seven month low this month.

The Federal Reserve said industrial output slid 0.3% after a revised 0.3% decline in March. Economists had expected an increase of 0.1%.

The University of Michigan's preliminary reading of the consumer sentiment index for May came in at 88.6, down from a final April reading of 95.9 and worse than forecasts for a reading of 96.0

The reports dampened hopes for a second quarter rebound after a sharp slowdown in growth in the first three months of the year and added to the view that the Fed will delay hiking interest rates until the recovery is on a stronger footing.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.49% to 93.76, still not far from Friday’s four-month lows of 93.2.

Dollar weakness usually benefits gold, as it boosts the metal's appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Investors were turning their attention to Wednesday’s minutes of the Fed’s April meeting for fresh indications on the timing of an initial rate hike.

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for July delivery rose 0.65% to $17.67 a troy ounce, while copper for July delivery was down 0.21% to $2.918 a pound.

Gold futures hit 3-month highs on soft U.S. data
 

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