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MTECHTIPS:-Gold falls after U.S. housing data, copper sinks to 6-year low

MTECHTIPS:-Gold falls after U.S. housing data, copper sinks to 6-year low

Gold prices declined on Tuesday, after data showed that the number of housing starts issued in the U.S. rose to the highest level since October 2007 last month, supporting the case for higher interest rates. Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped $2.10, or 0.19%, to trade at $1,116.30 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours. The U.S. Commerce Department said that U.S. housing starts inched up 0.2% to 1.206 million units from June’s total of 1.204 million units. Analysts had expected a figure of 1.190 million. Meanwhile, the number of building permits issued last month tumbled 16.3% to 1.119 million units from June’s total of 1.337 million. Analysts expected building permits to fall by 8.0% to 1.232 million units in July. The mostly upbeat data should strengthen expectations of a Federal Reserve interest rate hike as early as next month.The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was last at 96.95, up 0.1% for the day. Market players looked ahead to Wednesday’s Federal Reserve minutes for further clarity on its plans to hike short-term interest rates for the first time since 2006. Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange declined 3.2 cents, or 1.39%, to trade at a six-year low of $2.289 a pound during morning hours in New York.The tumbled 6% in volatile trade on Tuesday, with losses accelerating towards the end of the session despite fresh efforts by the government to calm the market.
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