Gold prices steady as risk appetite fades, dollar pressured

Gold prices on Monday held on to their gains in the previous session, as weaker-than-expected economic data from the U.S. and a missile test by North Korea over the weekend weighed on risk appetite and pressured the dollar.

Spot gold was flat at $1,228.32 per ounce at 0058 GMT. The yellow metal rose about 0.3 percent on Friday.

U.S. gold futures were up 0.04 percent at $1228.20 an ounce.

The dollar started the week on the defensive on Monday, after U.S. retail sales fell short of expectations and North Korea’s missile test underpinned the perceived safe-haven yen.

U.S. data on Friday showed a smaller-than-expected 0.4 percent increase in April retail sales from the previous month, while a disappointing report on consumer prices raised concerns about the retail sector and the broader economy.

The U.S. Federal Reserve could adjust the pace at which it trims its $4.5 trillion in bond holdings depending on how financial markets react, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker said on Friday.

The Fed is likely to start reducing its balance sheet at the end of 2017 and may need to smooth out the process which could take three to four years, Fed policymaker Charles Evans said on Friday.

U.S. lawmakers on Sunday called on President Donald Trump to turn over any tapes of conversations with fired FBI chief James Comey, potentially setting up a showdown with the White House as Democrats considered a boycott of the vote on Comey’s replacement.

Finance chiefs from many of the world’s leading rich nations pressed the United States on Friday not to break a decades-long global consensus in areas such as trade and financial regulation criticized by Trump.

Hedge funds and other money managers cut their net long position in COMEX gold to a six-week low in the week ended May 9, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed.

U.S. environmental regulators have cleared the path for a stalled copper and gold mine in Alaska by agreeing to settle current lawsuits and other issues over the project.

North Korea said on Monday it had successfully conducted a newly developed mid-to-long range missile test on Sunday, supervised by leader Kim Jong Un and aimed at verifying the capability to carry a “large scale heavy nuclear warhead.”

Source: Reuters

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