Gold rises as dollar drops on weak USA data

A trader looks at electronic screens on the dealing floor at DBS Bank's new headquarters in Singapore. REUTERS

Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange climbed to the highest in almost two weeks on Friday, as data on retail sales and inflation stoked concerns that the pace of economic growth may not merit lifting USA interest rates again in 2017.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lower costs for gas, airline tickets, new and used cars and wireless mobile phone plans kept USA consumer prices flat in June, evidence that inflation remains muted. It was poised for a weekly gain of 1.3 per cent, the biggest since mid-May.

Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position in COMEX gold to the smallest since January 2016 in the week to July 11, as they switched to their first bearish stance in silver in almost two years, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. The grey metal was trading at session highs, having rebounded from an earlier loss.

He said, however, the main event risk for the currency is tomorrow's domestic inflation data.

Asian stocks rose on Monday after the Dow and S&P 500 hit record highs on Friday on bets the Federal Reserve's accommodative monetary policy will continue following lacklustre U.S. data, with that view sending the dollar reeling. "We're seeing precious (prices) buoyed on the back of that". The contract finished the week up 1.5 per cent, its first gain in six weeks. The gold price now stands at $1,229.72. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected overall prices to advance 0.1% on the month.

Meanwhile, SPDR Gold Trust slipped 0.43% to 828.84 tonnes on Thursday from 832.39 tonnes on Wednesday.

"A move above US$16.20 could trigger quite a bit of accelerated buying from the funds", he said.

Excluding the volatile food and energy categories, prices rose 0.1 percent in June and 1.7 percent from a year earlier. Platinum rose 1.68 per cent at US$916.65 per ounce, set to end the week up 1.5 per cent.

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