Thursday, 23 Sep 2021

Gold Futures Settle Modestly Lower As Equities, Dollar Rise

UK Retail Sales Recover In June

UK retail sales recovered in June as the start of the Euro 2020 football championship boosted food store sales, data from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday.

Retail sales grew 0.5 percent month-on-month in June, reversing a 1.3 percent fall in May. Sales were forecast to grow 0.4 percent.

The sales volume was up 9.5 percent in June when compared with their pre-coronavirus pandemic February 2020 levels.

Food store sales advanced 4.2 percent, while non-food store sales were down 1.7 percent in June. Sales of automotive fuels grew 2.3 percent as people increased their amount of travel.

Excluding auto fuel, retail sales were up 0.3 percent, in contrast to May’s 2 percent decline. However, the pace of growth was weaker than the economists’ forecast of 0.6 percent.

On a yearly basis, retail sales growth moderated to 9.7 percent from 24.6 percent in the same period last year. Economists had expected an annual growth of 9.6 percent.

Likewise, sales volume excluding auto fuel, advanced 7.4 percent, but slower than the 21.7 percent increase seen in May and the economists’ forecast of 8.2 percent.

In three months to June, overall retail sales volume increased 12.2 percent from the previous three months.

Earlier in the day, the survey data published by the market research group GfK showed that British consumer sentiment strengthened more-than-expected in July to reach ahead of its March 2020 pre-lockdown level.

The consumer sentiment index rose to -7 in July from -9 in the previous month. The expected reading was -8.

Even the Sheet Cakes Are Bigger in Texas

Covered in fudge frosting and dotted with pecans, Texas sheet cake is a ubiquitous dessert in the Lone Star state.

By Priya Krishna

When Michelle Lopez immigrated to Houston from Manila as a teenager, her family’s new neighbors all dropped off the same welcome dessert: Texas sheet cake.

European Shares Likely To Drift Lower On Virus Worries

European stocks are seen opening lower on Monday amid signs of growing inflationary pressures and concerns that a surge in coronavirus cases will have a dampening effect on the fragile global economic recovery.

Asian markets fell broadly as rising COVID-19 infections regionally and concerns surrounding the slow vaccine rollout spurred risk aversion.

The dollar held firm while gold edged up as benchmark 10-year Treasury yields dropped to a near two-week low.

The British pound held steady as England lifted most social curbs. Oil prices fell by more than $1 a barrel after OPEC+ agreed to boost production into 2022.

Amid a quiet day ahead on the economic calendar, COVID-19 news updates and central bank chatter may sway sentiment.

The European Central Bank meets on Thursday just two weeks after agreeing on its first strategic overhaul in almost two decades.

U.S. stocks ended notably lower on Friday, as better-than-expected earnings reports were offset by inflation worries and mixed retail sales and consumer sentiment data.

The Dow gave up 0.9 percent, while both the S&P 500 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite ended down around 0.8 percent.

European markets also fell on Friday amid lingering worries about a surge in coronavirus cases worldwide.

The pan European Stoxx 600 eased 0.3 percent. The German DAX declined 0.6 percent, France’s CAC 40 index dropped half a percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 slid 0.1 percent.

What Makes Elon Musk Different

By Walter Isaacson

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By Eric Berger

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Herald morning quiz: July 24

Test your brains with the Herald’s morning quiz. Be sure to check back on at 3pm for the afternoon quiz.

To challenge yourself with more quizzes, CLICK HERE.

Gold Futures Settle Modestly Lower As Equities, Dollar Rise

Gold futures settled lower on Friday and as upbeat corporate earnings and optimism about economic growth prompted investors to seek riskier assets such as equities.

Higher bond yields and a firm dollar weighed on the yellow metal.

The dollar ipndex rose to 93.02, and despite falling to around 92.85 subsequently recovered swiftly and was last seen at 92.91, up 0.1% from Thursday’s close.

Gold futures for August ended down by $3.60 or about 0.2% at $1,801.80 an ounce.

Gold futures shed about 0.7% in the week, recording a weekly loss after four straight weeks of gains.

Silver futures for September ended lower by $0.148 or 0.6% at $25.233 an ounce. Silver futures shed about 2.2% in the week.

Copper futures for September settled at $4.4000 per pound, up $0.0625 or 1.4% from the previous close.

The dollar index has been gaining in strength this week, boosted by last month’s hawkish shift from the Federal Reserve, burgeoning inflation and safe-haven demand driven by concerns over the Delta variant of COVID-19 which is now the dominant strain worldwide.

Traders now look ahead to the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting due next week. Fed officials are expected to accelerate deliberations over how to scale back their easy-money policies.

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