Gold Prices Steady Ahead of US Consumer Confidence Report
London (Feb 13) Gold is steady on Friday, as the metal is trading at a spot price of $1227.06. In the US, today’s highlight is Preliminary UoM Consumer Sentiment. The markets are expecting a strong reading, with an estimate of 98.2 points.
In the US, retail sales and jobless numbers were dismal on Thursday. Core Retail Sales declined by 0.9%, while Retail Sales dropped by 0.8%. Both were well off their estimates of -0.4%. There was no relief from unemployment claims, which jumped to 304 thousand, compared to 284 thousand in the previous reading. The markets had expected a stronger reading of 282 thousand.
European finance ministers met in Brussels on Wednesday, but were unable to bridge the gap between Greece and its creditors. The bailout agreement expires at the end of February, and the next bailout payment of about EUR 7 billion is on hold as Greece has declared it will not abide by the austerity steps which are required to receive the funds. Greece is looking for bridge financing until a new deal can be reached, but Germany and the troika have balked at rewriting the agreement. The finance ministers will reconvene on Monday. If some agreement can be reached, the euro could get a boost.