Gold futures were looking for direction Wednesday as neutral inflation numbers failed to increase demand for the metal. August futures were slipping 80 cents to $893 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has traded as low as $888.70 and as high as $903 so far during the session. Silver prices were rising 7 cents to $12.83 an ounce, and copper was holding at $2.17 a pound. "For now,
gold futures are rangebound and looking for new direction", says George Gero, vice president of global futures at RBC Capital Markets. The Labor Department reported that the consumer price index, an inflation indicator, was lower by 0.1%. Rising inflation can be a catalyst for gold, but the lower number kept a lid on future buying. Gero says "gold futures are directionless and hanging around this area of consolidation. If we get past $900, I will get interested." The focus continues to be on bank earnings and the results of the government's "stress test," evaluations on the health of 19 big banks. In gold stocks, Newmont Mining ( NEM) was little changed at $42.15, and Yamana Gold ( AUY) was trading flat at $8.20. Barrick Gold ( ABX) was rising more than 2% to $29.78. Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) was up almost 1% at $49.66, and the Gold Shares ( GLD) exchange traded fund was trading flat at $87.50.