Investing.com - Gold futures remained lower on Thursday, albeit off the worst levels of the session, after data showed that U.S. personal spending increased less than expected in May, while the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell broadly in line with market expectations.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for August delivery fell to a session low of $1,307.00 a troy ounce, before trimming losses to last trade at $1,316.40 during U.S. morning hours, down 0.47%, or $6.20.
Gold ended Wednesday’s session up 0.1%, or $1.30, to settle at $1,322.60. Prices were likely to find support at $1,276.20, the low from June 19 and resistance at $1,328.40, the high from April 15.
Also on the Comex, silver for September delivery lost 0.58%, or 12.3 cents, to trade at $21.04 a troy ounce. Prices hit $21.22 on Wednesday, the most since March 18.
The Commerce Department said that personal spending rose 0.2% last month, below expectations for an increase of 0.4%. Personal spending for April was revised to a flat reading from a previously reported decline of 0.1%.
Consumer spending is the single biggest source of U.S. economic growth, accounting for as much as two-thirds of economic activity.
The report also showed personal income rose 0.4% in May, in line with forecasts and after gaining 0.3% in April.
Meanwhile, the core PCE price index inched up by a seasonally adjusted 0.2%, in line with expectations, after rising 0.2% in April. The core PCE price index rose at an annualized rate of 1.5% in May, matching forecasts, after rising at a rate of 1.4% in the preceding month.
The Federal Reserve uses core PCE as a tool to help determine whether to raise or lower interest rates, with the aim of keeping inflation at a rate of 2% or below.
At the same time, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 21 declined by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 314,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 310,000 last week.
Prices remained supported after U.S. first quarter growth was revised down sharply on Wednesday, bolstering expectations that the Federal Reserve will keep rates hold for longer.
The Commerce Department said that the U.S. economy shrank at an annual rate of 2.9% in the first three months of the year, compared to the consensus forecast for a decline of 1.7%.
U.S. first quarter GDP was initially reported to have increased by 0.1%, but was subsequently revised to show a contraction of 1.0%.
The difference between the second and third estimate was the largest since records began in 1976, the Commerce Department said.
The weak data indicated that the Fed may need to keep rates on hold for an extended period to support the recovery.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery inched up 0.05%, or 0.3 cents, to trade at $3.168 a pound.
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