Gold drops 0.4% on upbeat consumer confidence; WTI falls 0.7%

San Francisco (July 29)  Gold prices retreated today to finish below $1,300 as better-than-expected U.S. economic data bolstered expectations of a tighter monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

Gold for August delivery dropped 0.4 percent to $1,298.30 an ounce.

The consumer confidence index climbed to 90.9 in July from 86.4 in June, marking the highest level since October 2007, the Conference Board said.

In other metals, September silver edged up 0.1 percent to $20.58 an ounce.

September palladium shed 0.3 percent to trade at $878.30 an ounce, while October platinum   turned down $6.10 to $1,484.50 an ounce.

High-grade copper for September delivery slipped 2 cents to $3.22 a pound.

In energy markets, oil futures ended mixed today, with the U.S. benchmark West Texas intermediate crude under pressure from supply worries while Europe’s Brent crude was supported by increased tensions over Ukraine and continued turmoil in the Middle East.

WTI crude oil for September delivery fell 0.7 percent to settle at $100.97 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

On the London’s ICE, September Brent oil rose 0.1 percent to end at $107.72 a barrel.

The European Union today prepared to toughen sanctions targeting Russia’s financial system in an effort to raise pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin for Moscow’s alleged support of pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine.

Israeli forces stepped up attacks against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip as Israel’s leaders told the country to prepare for a prolonged operation.

Source: ProAactiveInvestors