On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — fell $13.70 to close at $1,320.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September finished flat at $21.34.
Both precious metals were relatively quiet as retail sales in the United States increased in July for the fourth consecutive month, keeping hope alive that the Federal Reserve may dial down its bond purchases later this year.
The Department of Commerce reported that retail and food services sales for July edged up 0.2 percent to $424.5 billion following a 0.6 percent increase in June. According to the agency’s release, the slower rate of sales reflected a smaller number of purchases of expensive items like cars, furniture, and electronics. However, economists expected a 0.3 percent increase in retail sales.
Christopher Vecchio, a currency analyst at DailyFX, said: “U.S. economic data has been mixed a bit of late (especially on the ever-important inflation and labor market fronts), but the release of July consumption figures has lifted the tone regarding the U.S. economy. The July Advance Retail Sales report showed that consumption remains strong in the near-term, though the uptick in U.S. interest rates may be having an adverse impact on automobile sales.”
By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) declined 1.1 percent while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) edged 0.4 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) both dropped more than 2 percent. Shares of Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) increased 0.5 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS