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Gold Dips as Retail Sales Climb

Gold has posted slight losses in the Monday session. In North American trade, the spot price for one ounce of gold is $1239.15, down 0.20% on the day. On the release front, U.S core retail sales dropped to 0.4%, matching the estimate. Retail sales dropped to 0.5%, edging above the estimate of 0.4%. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell testifies before the Senate Banking Committee.

The trade war between the U.S and China is raising concerns not just on the equity markets but at the Federal Reserve as well. On Friday, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan said he would have to downgrade his economic outlook for the economy if the tariff battle continues. Kaplan said that U.S tariffs on steel and aluminum imports had dampened capital expenditures plans and further trade tensions could lead to currency fluctuations and geopolitical instability.

The booming U.S economy received a vote of confidence last week from the head of the Federal Reserve. On Thursday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that the economy is “in a really good place”, pointing to President Trump’s massive tax cut scheme and increased spending as key factors in boosting economic growth. Powell did not address monetary policy and said he was uncertain as to the effects of the current trade disputes which has embroiled the U.S and its trading partners. The Fed will likely press the rate trigger in the second half of the year, but it is an open question as to whether we’ll see one hike over the next six months. The Fed is projecting growth of 2.8% in 2018, compared to 2.3% in 2017. Powell will be in the spotlight next week when he appears for his semi-annual testimony before Congress.

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