Gold Ends Sharply Higher On Weak Dollar

Washington (Nov 14)   Gold futures ended sharply higher on Friday, after the dollar turned lower against a select band of currencies and on bargain hunting.

A weak dollar tends to makes dollar-denominated commodities such as gold much cheaper and attractive for holders of other currencies.

In economic news, a  Commerce Department  report showed US retail sales in October rebounded more than anticipated, having reported a modest drop in sales in the previous month.

A separate  Commerce Department  report showed US business inventories to have increased in line with economist estimates in September. As well, US business inventories increased in line with economist estimates in September.

A  Labor Department  report on Friday showed a notable decrease in US import prices in October, with fuel prices dropping sharply.

Concerns over imminent US interest rates and slowing demand also weighed down the precious metal, with markets looking out for further cues.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, jumped  USD24.10  or 2.1% to settle at  USD1,185.60  an ounce on the Comex division of the  New York Mercantile Exchange  on Friday.

Gold for December delivery scaled an intraday high of  USD1,192.90  and a low of  USD1,146.00  an ounce.

On Thursday, gold futures ended lower on some disappointing economic data from the US with initial claims for unemployment benefits rising more than expected last week.

Holdings of  SPDR Gold Trust  , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, edged down to 720.62 tons on Friday from its previous close of 722.67 tons on Thursday.

The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 87.55 on Friday, down from its previous close of 87.77 late Thursday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 88.27 intraday and a low of 87.43.

The euro trended higher against the dollar at  USD1.2529  on Friday, as compared to its previous close of  USD1.2476  late Thursday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of  USD1.2543  intraday and a low of  USD1.2400  .

In economic news, a report from the  Commerce Department  showed US retail sales in October rebounded more than anticipated, having reported a modest drop in sales in the previous month. The rebound was partly attributed to a jump in sales by non-store retailers. US retail sales rose 0.3% in October, offsetting the 0.3% drop seen in September. Economists expected sales to edge up by 0.2%.

Separately, a  Commerce Department  report showed US business inventories to have increased in line with economist estimates in September. Business inventories rose 0.3% in September after inching up by a downwardly revised 0.1% in August. Economists expected inventories to climb by 0.3% compared to the 0.2% uptick originally reported for the previous month. Manufacturing inventories edged up by 0.2%, while retail and wholesale inventories both rose by 0.3%.

Consumer sentiment in the US has improved much more than anticipated in November, a report from  Thomson Reuters  and the University of  Michigan  showed Friday. A preliminary reading on the consumer sentiment index for November came in at 89.4 compared to the final October reading of 86.9. Economists expected the index to show a more modest increase to 87.5. The consumer sentiment index scaled its highest level since  July 2007  .

Meanwhile, a  Labor Department  report on Friday showed a notable decrease in US import prices in October, with fuel prices dropping sharply. The import price index tumbled 1.3% in October after falling by a revised 0.6% in September. Economists expected import prices to drop by 1.5% compared to the 0.5% decrease originally reported for the previous month.

The Eurozone economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace in the third quarter, helped by economic recovery in  Germany  and  France  , while  Italy  contracted again. Gross domestic product grew a seasonally adjusted 0.2% from the second quarter, flash estimates from Eurostat showed Friday. Economists forecast the growth rate to remain unchanged at 0.1%.

Source: Alliance