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(Wallace Refiners) – Gold prices are trading at session highs after the New York Federal Reserve reported weaker than expected sentiment with the region’s manufacturing sector.
Tuesday, the regional central bank said its Empire State manufacturing survey’s general business conditions index fell to a reading of 4.9 in December, down from November’s reading of 6.3.The data were much weaker than expected as consensus forecasts were calling for an unchanged reading.
This is the third consecutive month that the Empire State survey has missed expectations.
Gold prices had been pushing higher ahead of the latest economic data but have rallied further to session highs in initial reaction. February gold futures last traded at $1,858.20 an ounce, up 1.42% on the day.
Although the headline data was disappointing, the report noted that there was some good news in the components of the report, particularly in the labor market. The report said that the labor market saw the index for the number of employees rise to its highest level in a year.
There was also some good news for the gold market. The report noted rising inflation pressures.
“Input prices increased at the fastest pace in two years, while selling prices increased at about the same pace as last month,” the report said.
Economists and markets analysts have noted that inflation will continue to support gold prices as it will keep real interest rates low.
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