Gold dips as encouraging China data stokes risk-on sentiment

Washington: Gold prices slipped on Monday, consolidating above $1,400 pivot, as key China data assuaged concerns about global economic slowdown and boosted appetite for riskier assets.
Spot gold was down 0.2% at $1,413.20 per ounce, as of 0717 GMT.
U.S. gold futures were up 0.2% at $1,415.10 an ounce.
China’s June industrial output climbed 6.3% from a year earlier, beating a 5.2% forecast, while January-June fixed-asset investment rose 5.8% from the same period last year, surpassing a 5.5% increase forecast by analysts.
“Better-than-expected economic data from China just erodes concerns that the global slowdown is not as deep as expected, therefore causing some profit-taking in gold,” said Howie Lee, economist, OCBC Bank.
Meanwhile, China’s economic growth slowed to 6.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier, the weakest pace in at least 27 years.
“Having said that the overall growth picture still looks weak. Further tensions around (U.S.-China) trade talks and geopolitical concerns in the Middle East, the need for gold as a hedge still remains strong,” he added.
“Retail sales and industrial production data that came in at higher levels suggest that the economy is in better shape and that means less potential for stimulus from the officials in China,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist, CMC Markets.
Denting the bullion’s appeal, Asian shares advanced on Monday as encouraging Chinese data suggested the world’s second-biggest economy may be starting to stabilise due to ramped-up stimulus from Beijing.
Also weighing on gold prices, the dollar index inched higher on Monday against a basket of major currencies.
However, dollar index fell for three sessions in a row on prospects of an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this month.
“The next big event for gold is the Federal Open Market Committee meeting at the end of this month, as expectations fluctuate between quarter percent cut and half percent cut, we should see that have an impact on gold prices,” McCarthy said.
Meanwhile, hedge funds and money managers cut their bullish stance in COMEX gold in the week ended July 9, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said in a report on Friday.
On the technical side, spot gold looks neutral in a narrow range of $1,404 to $1,421 per ounce, and an escape could suggest a direction, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.
Among other precious metals, silver rose 0.4% to $15.27 per ounce and palladium climbed 1% to $1,560.47.
Platinum gained 0.5% to $832 an ounce, after hitting its highest since July 4 at $838.73.

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