Investing.com - Gold prices slipped slightly in Asia on Thursday with investors not fussed by largely upbeat regional data sets and looked for demand cues from India as the government moves to clamp down on export traders.
India tightened gold import norms for export houses by restricting them from importing the yellow metal only for export purposes and not for selling in the domestic market, the government said in a circular on Wednesday.
Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell 0.23% to $1,280.08 a troy ounce. Copper traded down 0.09% to $3.172 a pound.
China on Thursday reported third quarter GDP came in as expected to show a gain of 1.7% on quarter and 6.8% rise on year, while industrial production rose 6.6%, more than the 6.2% increase seen in September and fixed asset investment gained 7.5%, below the 7.7% gain seen. Retail sales in China rose 10.3%, beating the expected up 10.2% increase.
Earlier in Japan, the trade balance came in at a surplus of ¥670 billion, wider than the ¥560 billion surplus seen for September. Australia reported jobs data with 19,800 workers added, compared to 15,000 under employment change expected, helping the unemployment rate dip to 5.5% from 5.6%.
Overnight, gold prices were roughly unchanged on Wednesday amid dollar weakness on the back of weaker-than-expected housing data.
Gold prices pared some early-session losses after the dollar turned negative following data showing ongoing weakness in the U.S. housing sector.
The Commerce Department said Tuesday U.S. homebuilding fell 4.7% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.127 million units in September, well below economists’ estimates of a 0.5% decline.
The report also highlighted a sharp 4.5% slump in building permits to a rate of 1.215 million units. That was below estimates of a fall to 1.245 million units.
The precious metal has fallen sharply from a key $1,300 level amid an uptick U.S. treasury yields on the possibility of more hawkish Federal Reserve chair succeeding Janet Yellen in February.
A Bloomberg report on Monday suggested that President Donald Trump favoured Stanford economist John Taylor as the next leader of the Federal Reserve. Taylor is regarded as one of the more hawkish candidates under consideration.
Gold is sensitive to moves higher in both bond yields and the U.S. dollar – A stronger dollar makes gold more expensive for holders of foreign currency while a rise in U.S. rates, lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.