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Gold prices recovered from lows, aided by the publication of weaker-than-expected data on U.S. retail sales, which may weaken the prospects for reducing stimulus measures from the Federal Reserve System.
Note that today's report showed that U.S. consumers spent more on gasoline and cars in June, but showed little interest in the other goods, which raises concern that personal spending will cause a leisurely recovery.
Total retail sales increased by 0.4% last month to a seasonally adjusted $ 422.79 billion, the Commerce Department said Monday. But excluding autos and gasoline retail sales were down 0.1%.
The overall increase was below the forecast of economists had expected growth of 0.7%. Retail sales and food sales rose 5.7% from a year earlier.
U.S. retail sales are growing steadily, despite the depth of the economic crisis. Consumer spending accounts for over two-thirds of the total demand in the U.S.
Sales of auto dealers rose 1.8%, continuing a strong picture of this year's sales, which grew by more than 11% year on year. But excluding the automotive sector retail sales were unchanged. The volume of retail sales, which exclude gasoline, autos and building materials - the value for the closely-watched economists who use it as a true gauge of consumer behavior - was 0.15% higher.
Recall that gold had reached nearly three-week high after Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said last week that a highly adaptive policy will be needed for the foreseeable future, which indicates that will be supported by low interest rates, and increase the attractiveness of gold. But in spite of this, many experts still expect the Fed will begin to slow down the pace of asset purchases by the end of the year.
Meanwhile, today it was announced last week that gold stocks in the largest exchange-traded fund ETF SPDR Gold Trust fell by 2.6%, showing the biggest weekly decline since late April. This year, the stock has decreased by more than 13 million ounces, or $ 17 billion at current prices.
The cost of the August gold futures on COMEX today rose to a high of $ 1284.00 an ounce.
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