Investing.com - Gold prices reversed earlier losses to trade modestly higher on Tuesday, following the release of data showing that U.S. retail sales rose significantly less than expected in April.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery inched up 0.17%, or $2.20, to trade at $1,298.00 a troy ounce, during U.S. morning hours. Prices held in a range between $1,289.20 and $1,298.80.
Gold hit $1,304.50 an ounce on Monday, the most since May 7, before settling at $1,295.80, up 0.64%, or $8.20.
Gold prices were likely to find support at $1,277.70 an ounce, the low from May 12 and resistance at $1,315.00, the high from May 7.
Also on the Comex, silver for July delivery eased up 0.1%, or 0.2 cents, to trade at $19.56 a troy ounce. Futures ended Monday’s session up 2.21%, or 42.2 cents, to settle at $19.54 an ounce.
The U.S. Commerce Department said that retail sales inched up by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month, missing expectations for a 0.4% increase.
Core retail sales, which exclude automobile sales, were flat in April, disappointing forecasts for a 0.6% increase.
Core sales correspond most closely with the consumer spending component of the government''s gross domestic product report. Consumer spending accounts for as much as 70% of U.S. economic growth.
Meanwhile, investors remained cautious after pro-Russian separatists in the eastern Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk said they may hold a second referendum on joining Russia, similar to the one in Crimea.
Gold, seen as a safe haven investment, usually benefits from geopolitical turmoil.
Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for July delivery shed 0.12%, or 0.4 cents, to trade at $3.146 a pound after data showed that Chinese industrial production and retail sales rose less than expected in April, adding to concerns over a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.