The gold market is shaking off a massive rise in U.S. consumer confidence as prices hold near their one-month highs.
Tuesday, the U.S. Conference Board, reported that its consumer confidence index jumped to a reading of 125.6 in March, up from February’s reading of 116.1. Economists were expecting to see a small dip in consumer sentiment, with consensus forecasts calling for a reading around 113.9.
The report said that this is the highest reading in consumer confidence in 17 years.
Gold prices have been steadily pushing higher for nearly two weeks, hitting a one-month high Monday. The market has managed to hold on to most of its gains with little reaction seen following the consumer confidence numbers; April Comex gold futures last traded at $1,257 an ounce.
“Consumers feel current economic conditions have improved over the recent period, and their renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, Director of Economic Indicators at The Conference Board.
The report noted broad-based gains in the components of the index. The present situation index rose to 143.1, compared to February’s reading 134.4; at the same time the expectations index rose to 113.8, compared to the precious reading of 103.9.
The report noted continued improvement in consumers’ outlook on the labor market. Of the survey participants, 31.7% said that jobs were “plentiful”, up from 26.9% in last monthr; at the same time those claiming that jobs were “hard to get” fell to 19.5%, from 19.9% in February.
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