Gold falls amid unexpected rise in U.S. retail sales

10:39, March 13, 2010      

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Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed lower on Friday as U.S. retail sales posted a surprising gain in February. Sliver and platinum both dropped.

The most active gold contract for April delivery dropped 6.5 U. S. dollars, or 0.6 percent, to finish at 1,101.7 dollars per ounce.

Retail sales in February rose by 0.3 percent, the U.S. Commerce Department said on Friday, despite the job concern and the fierce snowstorm which crippled large parts of the United States last month.

But the unexpected rise of retail sales was overshadowed by a report published on Friday which said the Consumer Sentiment Index has surprisingly declined, suggesting a risk to the improvement in sales.

Meanwhile, Greece said on Friday it exceeded its deficit- cutting targets in January and February, ahead of a key review next week by the European Commission. The Greek government toughened its austerity measures last week, with tax hikes and spending cuts in order to ease the debt crisis which threatened the stability of euro.

The impressive rise of U.S. retail sales and subsided concern about the Greek debt woes made investors feel confident about the global economic prospects, reducing gold's demand of safe-haven.

May silver was down 11.2 cents to 17.048 dollars per ounce. April platinum declined 4.3 dollars to 1,608.4 dollars an ounce.

Source: Xinhua
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