Gold Futures Withering Away
Gold futures were poised to settle with a loss of over $60, below $1500 an ounce
Friday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, potentially
striking their lowest level since July 2011, after downbeat U.S. retail-sales
and concerns over Cyprus continue. Rumors out Thursday that Cyprus would
possible sell some gold from its Central Bank reserves has investors on edge.
Cyprus finance ministry denied reports that President Nicos Anastasiades would
ask for "extra assistance" from the European Union, but stated that Anastasiades
instead was referring to technical and structural aid. Anastasiades had
previously discussed the matter with European Commission Vice President Olli
Rehn. Euro-zone finance ministers are expected to finalize Cyprus's bailout
terms at a meeting on Friday. Luxembourg Finance Minister Luc Frieden said
Cyprus's international lenders could not increase the 10 billion euro ($13.1
billion) aid package, already agreed upon. Psychological impact of potential
selling of the precious metal from Cyprus continued to take a toll as investors
are losing confidence in the safe-have precious metal. Continued concerns over
Cyprus and speculation they would ask for more bailout money, shook the sugar
On Friday, the U.S. government announced that U.S. retail sales during March
fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.4% to mark the biggest decline since June 2012.
Retail sales account for nearly a third of consumer spending which is the main
engine of the economy. Sales are a good indicator for how fast the U.S. economy
is growing. Excluding autos, retail sales fell 0.4%. Excluding gasoline
stations, retail sales including autos, electronics, groceries, hobby items,
personal care and general merchandise fell 0.2%. The decline indicates Americans
have cut back on purchases of consumer goods, possibly as a result of higher
taxes as well as, slower job creation nipping at their heels. Retail sales in
March rose at bars, home-furnishing stores, Internet retailers and restaurants.
Labor Department reported on Friday that wholesale prices fell 0.6% in March
after seasonable adjustments, with energy prices falling 3.4%. Over the past
year, producer price index has risen 1.1%, for the smallest increase in eight
months. In March, core PPI - which excludes food and energy prices - rose 0.2%.
Over the past year, core prices are up 1.7%.
The University of Michigan-Thomson Reuters Consumer Sentiment released on Friday
fell to a preliminary reading of 72.3 in April, striking the lowest reading
The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Friday that business inventories edged
up 0.1% in February to a seasonally adjusted $1.64 trillion. Ratio of
inventories to sales was 1.28, down slightly from 1.29 in January.
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April 12, 2013