Weak retail data in the U.S. pushed gold futures to a three-month high Wednesday. Retail sales were lower than expected, weakening optimism of a stronger economy and further reducing the chances of a rate hike this year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division, December golddelivery peaked at $1,176.00 a troy ounce, its highest level since June. The previous day, gold climbed 0.08%, or 90 cents.
Data from the U.S. Commerce Department revealed that retail sales increased just 0.1% in September. Analysts were expecting an increase of 0.2%. August’s retail sales were also revised down from the previous report of a 0.2% gain.
Core retail saleswere down 0.3% in September, which missed the forecast of a 0.1% decline. In August, core sales decreased just 0.1%, which was revised from the previous report of a 0.1% increase.
Producer prices are also down 0.5% (seasonally adjusted), according to the Commerce Department. This number missed analysts’ marks, too, who were expecting a drop of 0.2%.
The disappointing data further diminishes expectations of an interest rate hike. A delay in raising interest rates is bullish for gold.
In other metals trading, copper for December delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange’s Comex division was up 0.59%, or 1.4 cents, to reach $2.402 a pound in early morning trading.