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Gold Moves Modestly Lower For Second Straight Day

Gold prices showed a modest move to the downside during trading on Friday, extending the pullback seen in the previous session.

After slipping $5.90 or 0.3 percent to $1,821.40 an ounce on Thursday, gold for February delivery dipped $4.90 or 0.3 percent to $1,816.50 an ounce.

Despite closing lower for two straight days, the price of gold jumped 1.1 percent for the week due in part to a spike on Tuesday.

The drop by the price of gold came amid a rebound by the value of the U.S. dollar, with the U.S. dollar index rising by 0.4 percent after hitting a two-month low.

Treasury yields also moved to the upside following the release of a slew of U.S. economic data, including a Commerce Department report unexpectedly showing a steep drop in U.S. retail sales in the month of December.

The Commerce Department said retail sales tumbled by 1.9 percent in December after edging up by a revised 0.2 percent in November.

The sharp pullback surprised economists, who had expected retail sales to come in unchanged compared to the 0.3 percent growth originally reported for the previous month.

Michael Pearce, Senior U.S. Economist at Capital Economics, said the unexpected slump in retail sales appears to mainly reflect the ongoing impact of higher prices and supply shortages.

Inflation concerns have also contributed to a bigger than expected drop in U.S. consumer sentiment in the month of January, according to preliminary data released by the University of Michigan on Friday.

The report showed the consumer sentiment index fell to 68.8 in January from 70.6 in December. Economist had expected the index to edge down to 70.0.

The Federal Reserve also released a report unexpectedly showing a modest decrease in U.S. industrial production in the month of December.

The Fed said industrial production edged down by 0.1 percent in December after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7 percent in November.

Economists had expected industrial production to rise by 0.4 percent compared to the 0.5 percent increase originally reported for the previous month.

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