Gold adds to gains as economic data flows «

    Gold adds to gains as economic data flows

    LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — Gold prices on Tuesday held tight to recent gains ahead of another slew of economic updates.

    AFP/Getty Images Gold for February delivery /quotes/zigman/9159480/realtime GCG4 +0.06% in electronic trade rose $1.10, or 0.1%, to $1,252.30 an ounce while March silver /quotes/zigman/9576868/realtime SIH4 +0.03% dipped 3 cents to $20.36 an ounce.

    A day earlier, gold futures climbed to stay perched at their highest level in a month after two-consecutive sessions of price gains and last week’s disappointing U.S. monthly jobs data.

    “The big miss to the downside on non-farm jobs growth in December now makes upcoming U.S. economic data that much more important, to see if a trend of weaker reports is developing,” said Kitco’s Jim Wyckoff. “If the greenback continues to weaken and U.S. Treasurys continue to strengthen, that would be a bullish development for the precious metals markets and for other raw commodity markets.”

    The U.S. retail sales number for December , due later Tuesday, is the next big economic report that could potentially move markets. Companies generated good foot traffic in December, but they also were forced into some heavy discounting. A pair of Federal Reserve bank presidents, Charles Plosser of Philadelphia and Richard Fisher of Dallas, are also expected to offer clues on the central bank’s next move.

    Elsewhere in metals trading, platinum for April delivery /quotes/zigman/13743788/realtime PLJ4 -0.24% fell 20 cents to $1,443.70 an ounce while March palladium /quotes/zigman/13222141/realtime PAH4 -0.17% rose 55 cents to $740.55 an ounce. High-grade copper /quotes/zigman/678454/realtime HGH4 -0.12% for March delivery was flat at $3.35 a pound.