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Gold Spikes to 3-Week High as US Economy Expands a Mere 1.2%

July 29, 2016 at 14:28 by Andrew Moran

Gold prices spiked following weak US economic data and is now approaching a three-week high. The yellow metal is on track for its first weekly gain in three weeks. This comes as the US economy posted a sluggish second quarter and barely recovered from a weak first quarter.

August gold futures rose $10.52, or 0.79%, to Bounce House For Adults $1,342.82 per ounce at 15:03 GMT on Friday. Gold is on track to settle at its highest level since July 11.

Silver remained relatively unchanged in the aftermath of the financial news. September silver futures rose just $0.03, or 0.15%, to $20.19 an ounce.

After a slow start to the trading week, gold has been steadily increasing. The yellow metal has been supported by the Federal Reserve leaving key interest rates unchanged, the Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Japanese government launching another round of economic stimulus, and weak US economic data.

The Department of Labor released a new report on Friday that found the US economy barely advanced in the second quarter. The nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) rose a mere 1.2% in the April to June period. This comes as the US experienced an economic gain of just 0.8% in the first quarter.

In the fallout of the economic report, this may provide Fed Chair Janet Yellen with some caution on interest rates. Analysts had expected the US central bank to push ahead with a rate hike in the next few months, but the tepid GDP growth may make the Fed apprehensive.

With ultra-low and even subzero interest rates around the world, and the likely possibility of rates remaining lower for longer, dollar-priced commodities, such as gold, have received a boost. A low-rate environment makes precious metals very attractive to investors since they do not offer a yield anyway.

According to the CME Group FedWatch tool, the chances of a September rate hike stand at 12%, down from 18% earlier this week.

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