Gold prices surged higher on Friday, extending gains to a fourth straight session, amid continued worries about U.S.-China trade tensions and the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.
Gold futures for June ended up $15.40, or about 0.9%, at $1,75630 an ounce, the highest close since April 14.
Silver futures for July ended up $0.914, or 5.7%, at $17.070 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $2.3305 per pound, losing about 0.7% from previous close.
The report said industrial production plummeted by 11.2% in April after tumbling by a revised 4.5% in March.
Comments from U.S. President Donald Trump about China aggravated trade tensions. In an interview with Fox Business news, Trump threatened to cut off the whole relationship with China over coronavirus pandemic and said he was in no mood to talk to Xi Jinping.
Chinese state media Global Times responded with an editorial titled “Trump turns up election strategy nonsense with China ‘cut-off’ threat”.
In economic news, the Federal Reserve’s report showed a record drop in U.S. industrial production in the month of April, as the COVID-19 pandemic led many factories to slow or suspend operations throughout the month.
Economists had expected production to plunge by 11.5% compared to the 5.4% nosedive originally reported for the previous month.
According to the data from the Commerce Department, U.S. retail sales cratered by 16.4% in April after tumbling by a revised 8.3% in March. Economists had expected retail sales to plummet by 12% compared to the 8.7% slump originally reported for the previous month.
A report from the the Commerce Department said business inventories edged down by 0.2% in March after falling by a revised 0.5% in February.
Meanwhile, a report released by the New York Federal Reserve showed regional manufacturing activity continued to deteriorate significantly in the month of May, although the pace of contraction slowed considerably from the previous month.
The New York Fed said its general business conditions index jumped nearly thirty points to a negative 48.5 in May from a negative 78.2 in April. It was well above economist estimates for a reading of negative 63.5.