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Gold Dips, but not Much, as U.S. Consumers Show Strength

© Reuters. – U.S. consumers shopping with fewer recession worries aren’t helping the hedge story in gold, pushing yellow metal prices lower on Friday after its recent resilience.

slipped, but clung to their $1,480 perch after the U.S. Commerce Department reported that grew at an annualized rate of 3.2% in the three months through September, rather than the 2.9% reported in the previous reading. The headline rate of was also nudged up a tick to 2.1% from 2.0%.

for February delivery on New York’s COMEX settled settled down $3.50, or 0.2%, at $1,480.90 per ounce. In the previous session, it hit a one-week high of $1,485.65.

, which tracks live trades in bullion, slid 83 cents, or 0.06%, to $1,478.22 by 2:20 PM ET (19:20 GMT).

The Commerce Department’s consumer activity data was followed up by the University of Michigan’s own survey on , that showed a tick up to 99.3. That meant that consumer sentiment was effectively back to where it was before President Donald Trump’s trade war on China that unleashed a load of negativity for the economy and world markets.

Trump insisted in a tweet on Friday that the phase one of the U.S.-China was on its way to being formally signed after his telephone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping. There have been doubts in financial markets in recent days on whether the deal will be ratified by China, which has expressed concerns about huge annual farm purchases demanded by the Trump administration.

Despite Friday’s slide, gold’s returns for the year remain solid, with futures showing an annual gain of 13% and bullion 15%.

have also been supported above the $1,480 level by players seeking a hedge to any sudden reversal to the pre-Christmas rally on Wall Street.

Political concerns over Trump’s impeachment trial are also encouraging some investors to stay in gold.

Markets are unsettled over the decision by Democrats opposed to Trump from submitting straight away to his Republican allies the impeachment action carried out against him on Wednesday.

Trump became only the third president in U.S. history to be impeached as rival Democrats who control the House of Representatives found him guilty of abuse of power and obstruction of Congress after investigations concluding that he invited foreign meddling in the U.S. electoral process.

The president will have to face trial in the U.S. Senate but is unlikely to be removed from power as the higher legislative decision-making body is controlled by members of his Republican party, who have made it clear that they viewed his impeachment a sham.

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