Gold Price Hits Five-week High On Lackluster US Jobs, Retail Data

Gold Price Hits Five-week High on Lackluster US Jobs, Retail DataInvestors let out a sigh of relief last Friday when US jobs data revealed only a small gain in employment across the country in April. The news gave the gold price a nice boost, and is expected to help keep the Federal Reserve's plans for a rate hike at bay.

On Wednesday, the yellow metal saw another jump when news hit that US retail sales for April were unmoved; they've now been either down or flat in four out of five months, and the news has reignited fears that the nation's economy has yet to recover.

Specifically, spot gold hit a five-week high of $1,219.90 per ounce during the day and was trading up 1.92 percent, at $1,216.90, by 4:30 p.m. EST. Meanwhile, COMEX gold futures for June delivery rose 2.2 percent, to $1,218.20 — that's their highest level since April 6.
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Spot gold price, May 12 to 13, 2015. Chart courtesy of Kitco.

US data in depth

As mentioned, poor retail sales data indicates that the US economy isn't in the best place. What's perhaps most interesting about the data, however, is that some market watchers believe it should be better. After all, even with April's poor jobs data, overall there has been a steady increase in job creation lately, and coupled with lower gas prices, that should translate into increased consumer spending.

"The disappearance of consumer spending in early 2015 has now become even more mysterious, as some of the excuses shopped around earlier, like bad weather, are looking more stretched with the passage of time," Paul Ashworth, chief US economist at Capital Economics, told The Wall Street Journal.