Friday, May 15, 2020

Gold heads to highest in May as U.S. economic data highlights impact of coronavirus

 AFP/Getty Images

 By Mark DeCambre

Gold prices headed higher on Friday as U.S. economic data underscored the damage from the COVID-19 pandemic on business activity in the America, providing safe haven support for bullion at around its highest level so far this month.

A reading of U.S. retail sales tumbled by a record 16.4% in April and fell 16.2% excluding automobile sales and gas price, due to lockdown measures implemented to slow the worst outbreak in more than a century.

Meanwhile, a reading on business activity in the New York area, the New York Fed’s Empire State business conditions index, rose 29.7 points to minus 48.5 in May, the regional Fed bank said Friday, marking the second-lowest reading on record. Economists had expected a reading of minus 65, according to a survey by Econoday.

Gold for June delivery on Comex GC00, 0.22% was up $10.40, or 0.6%, at $1,751.30 an ounce, after the precious metal surged 1.4% on Thursday. The current level of gold would place it around its highest settlement since mid to late April, according to FactSet data.  Read more >>