This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

Gold Prices Dip, Can't Shake Strong Economic Data (Update 1)

Updated from 11:58 a.m. ET with settlement prices and analyst comment

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices dipped on Wednesday after better-than-expected economic data suggested more strengthening in the U.S.

Gold for April delivery shed $3.30 to settle at $1,588.40 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,598.80 and as low as $1,584.40 an ounce, while the spot price was lowered by $5, according to Kitco's gold index.

The Census Bureau said Wednesday retail sales rose 1.1% in February, better than expectations of 0.5% and a jump up from the prior month's revised 0.2% increase.

"Retail sales were positive . . . they were double what they were expected to be, so gold came all the way back off any gains that we had overnight," said Thomas Vitiello, principal at Aurum Options Strategies, LLC.

One analyst said he thinks the retail sales number shows that American consumers aren't acting like times are tough.

"There's a dichotomy between what they're saying and what they're doing," said Frank Braddock, senior portfolio manager at JHS Capital.

Gold prices had held in a tight range overnight before making a slight tick higher before 7 a.m. EST, and then erasing those gains shortly ahead of the retail sales report. Gold shot to its intraday highs -- seemingly poised to test the $1,600 an ounce psychological threshold -- after the retail sales number printed, but failed to return to those levels.

"It's just kind of directionless," said Vitiello, "But the pain I think is to the upside here for a lot of people -- a lot of shorts in the markets. I'm not getting bullish, but I am saying that you got to be careful being short here."

U.S. dollar strength also contributed to downward pressure on the yellow metal.

Silver prices for May delivery lost 21 cents to close at $28.96 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was gaining 0.42% to $82.93.

The greenback was gaining ground on Wednesday against the euro currency at $1.2960 compared to the prior day's close at $1.3033. The dollar was also improving slightly against the yen to 96.10 yen, up from the previous day's close at 96.09 yen.

Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann emerged Tuesday and said the eurozone had only recovered "some" of the confidence it had lost since the sovereign debt crisis. The German central banker's comments suggested that there still remained lingering weaknesses among European economies that could hinder recovery there.

The Bank of Japan continued to await approval of a new central bank governor, as most reports have said Haruhiko Kuroda, a monetary policy dove, soon will attain the post. Should Kuroda move through with a much more accommodative approach, gold prices could be one of the biggest asset-class beneficiaries.

Gold mining stocks closed mostly lower on Wednesday. Shares of NovaGold Resources (NG) and shares of Eldorado Gold (EGO) slipped 3.2%.

Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold (ABX) finished off 2.1%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) slid 0.34%, while iShares Gold Trust (IAU) dropped 0.26%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>Contact by Email.

Stock quotes in this article: NG, GG, ABX, GLD, IAU 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs