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Gold futures look to mark first fall in 6 sessions after a stronger-than-expected GDP report

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Gold prices headed lower on Thursday, pulling back from their highest levels in nine months and may post their first decline in six sessions, after a stronger-than-expected U.S. GDP report.

Price action
  • Gold prices for February 
    GC00,
    -0.44%

    GCG23,
    -0.44%

    fell by $8, or 0.4%, to $1,934.60 per ounce on Comex after settling at the highest level for a most-active contract in nine months on Wednesday.

  • Silver prices for March
    SI00,
    +0.46%

    SIH23,
    +0.46%

    climbed by 1.4 cents, or nearly 0.1%, to $23.955 per ounce.

  • March palladium  
    PAH23,
    -0.53%

    was down $18.40, or 1.1%, at $1,669.50 per ounce, while platinum for April
    PLJ23,
    -1.27%

    declined by $14, or 1.4%, to $1,032.10 per ounce.

  • Copper for March
    HGH23,
    +0.13%

    was nearly flat at $4.244 per pound.

Market drivers

Gold prices declined following some “better-than-expected U.S. economic data that falls into the camp of the monetary policy hawks,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in a daily note. “More routine profit-taking pressure is featured following recent gains that saw gold prices poke to a nine-month high overnight.”

A reading on U.S. gross domestic product showed the economy grew at a robust 2.9% annual pace in the fourth quarter. GDP expanded at an above-normal rate for the second quarter in a row.

Still, Wall Street economists predict the U.S. will slow to a crawl in the first quarter, and barely grow at all this year.

“This report is a green light for more Fed rate hikes.”


— Jason Schenker, Prestige Economics

“This report is a green light for more Fed rate hikes,” said Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics, in a note. He expects the U.S. central bank to announced an interest rate hike on Feb. 1, as well as a “likely rate hike” on March 22, with both of the rate hikes likely to be 25 basis points.

Following the data, the U.S. dollar strengthened against major currencies, also pressuring dollar-denominated prices of gold.

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index
DXY,
+0.21%
,
a gauge of the dollar’s strength against a basket of rivals, rose 0.2% at 101.884.

Among other economic data released Thursday,  Orders for manufactured goods jumped 5.6% in December. Economists polled by the Wall Street Journal had forecast a 2.4% increase.

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