MTECHTIPS;-Gold Prices Fall In Asia As Chinese New Year Holidays

MTECHTIPS;-Gold Prices Fall In Asia As Chinese New Year Holidays Start

MTECHTIPS-Gold dipped in Asia on Thursday as top buyer China started a market break through Feb. 21 to mark the Lunar New Year and physical trade dipped further with Hong Kong also shut and Singapore on holidays Friday and Monday. Gold futures for April delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.11% to $1,356.50 a troy ounce. Overnight, gold prices rose sharply amid dollar weakness as data showing rising inflation and falling retail sales stoked stagflation fears as market participants questioned the underlying strength of inflation. The Labor Department said Wednesday its Consumer Price index rose 0.5% last month after rising 0.2% in December, while year-on-year CPI grew to 1.8% from 1.8% in July. The Commerce Department, meanwhile, said on Wednesday that retail sales fell 0.3% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.3% rise. Rising inflation and falling retail sales pointing to possible sluggishness in consumer spending, leading some market participants to slash their bullish expectations for first quarter economic growth as JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM) revised down its first quarter US GDP forecast to 2.5% from 3%. Others, meanwhile, noted that the upbeat inflation report was mainly driven by an increase in apparel and medical services prices and questioned whether these two components would continue to post strong gains in the months ahead

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