(Kitco News) – The gold market is holding on to modest gains after the Empire State manufacturing survey’s general business conditions index fell to a reading of 19 in September, down from 25.6 in August, according to a New York Federal Reserve report Wednesday.
Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations had been for a reading of around 23.2. The report noted that sentiment in the manufacturing sector is at its lowest point in five months.
The gold prices have been trading in modestly positive territory through the overnight session and is seeing little movement in initial reaction to the New York Fed data. December gold futures last traded at $1,203.60 an ounce, up 0.22% on the day.
Looking at the components of the index, the report said that new orders fell to a reading of 16.5, down from August’s level of 17.1; at the same time shipments fell to a reading of 14.3, down from the previous level of 25.7.
In some positive news, the labor market in the New York manufacturing sector improved in September. The number of employees index increased to 13.3, up slightly from August’s reading of 13.1.
The report also noted a rise in inflation pressures, which could be positive for gold as it has traditionally been seen as a hedge against inflation. The prices paid index increased to 46.3 up from August’s reading of 45.2.
By Neils Christensen
For Kitco News