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Gold posts first consecutive gain in a month on US outlook

Friday, February 13, 2015 - 19:52
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Gold rose for its first back-to-back advance in almost a month as falling US retail sales cast doubt on the pace of growth in the world's largest economy.

[LONDON] Gold rose for its first back-to-back advance in almost a month as falling US retail sales cast doubt on the pace of growth in the world's largest economy.

Sales at US retailers fell by a greater-than-expected 0.8 per cent in January, reflecting smaller receipts at gasoline stations and declines at clothing and sporting goods stores. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot Index was little changed after falling 1 per cent on Thursday.

Bullion for immediate delivery advanced as much as 0.8 per cent to US$1,231.26 an ounce and traded at US$1,225.20 by 11:07 am in London, according to Bloomberg generic pricing. The metal lost 0.6 per cent this week, the third weekly drop.

"The weaker dollar on the back of the poor data is giving gold a lift," Ross Norman, chief executive officer of bullion dealer Sharps Pixley Ltd, said in a telephone interview from London. "We're in a range between US$1,198 and US$1,245 an ounce with gold biding its time looking for a new influence."

Should Greece and euro-area finance ministers come to an agreement on debt negotiations, investor appetite for risk will increase and hurt demand for precious metals, ABN Amro Group NV said a note. Talks between European officials will resume in Brussels on Friday.

Gold traders and analysts are bearish on prices for the first time in three months on speculation the stronger dollar and China's Lunar New Year holiday will curb demand, according to a Bloomberg survey. Seven of the respondents were negative on prices next week, while 5 were bullish and 6 were neutral.

Bullion for April delivery rose 0.3 per cent to US$1,224.60 on the Comex in New York.

Silver for immediate delivery gained 0.2 per cent to US$16.8865 an ounce. Platinum was 0.2 per cent higher at US$1,201.50 an ounce. Palladium added 0.4 per cent to US$777.45 an ounce.

BLOOMBERG