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Gold Stumbles on Strong Q2 GDP, Capped by Weaker US Dollar

July 27, 2018 at 15:12 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are stumbling at the end of the trading week on strong second quarter gross domestic product (GDP) numbers. The yellow metal, which pared steeped losses on Friday, received some support from a weaker US dollar.

August gold futures tumbled $1.70, or 0.14%, to $1,224.00 per ounce at 14:45 GMT on Friday. Gold prices are on track for a weekly decline of just under 1%, adding to its 2018 decimation of 8%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is mustering up a rally to finish off another week of trading. September silver futures rose $0.04, or 0.26%, to $15.535 an ounce. The white metal is poised to post a small loss of 0.1% this week.

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the US economy recorded 4.1% growth in the April-to-June period, the fastest pace in about four years. Economic growth was also revised up in the first quarter from 2% to 2.2%. The national economy received the biggest help from personal consumption, net exports, business fixed investments, government spending, and intellectual property.

President Donald Trump celebrated the news, promising that “we’re going to go a lot higher” than 4.1%. Speaking on the White House South Lawn, Trump said during a speech:

As the trade deals come in one by one, we’re going to go a lot higher than these numbers, and these are great numbers.

The economic boom could not give the greenback a boost as the US dollar slipped 0.08%. A weaker buck is generally good for commodities priced in dollars because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

In other economic news, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell in July to 97.9, down from 98.2 in June. The university said in a statement:

Despite the expectation of higher inflation and higher interest rates during the year ahead, consumers have kept their confidence at high levels due to favorable job and income prospects.

The latest quarterly GDP report is likely to give the Federal Reserve more ammunition to pull the trigger on a rate hike. In his semi-annual testimony to Congress, Fed Chair Jerome Powell noted that an expanding economy is the reason for raising interest rates and unwinding the central bank’s swelling $4.5 trillion balance sheet.

The overall metals market is mixed. September copper futures were flat at $2.825 per pound. September platinum futures slid $3.30, or 0.39%, to $832.40 an ounce. September palladium futures shed $8.60, or 0.92%, to $925.00 per ounce.

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