Bullion prices ended lower at Comex on Friday, 14 December 2018. A round of weaker-than-expected Chinese economic data spooked global investors on Friday, but failed to provide a lift for gold thanks to a stronger U.S. dollar.
Gold for February delivery on Comex lost $6, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,241.40 an ounce, the lowest finish since 3 December 2018. It ended down 0.9% for the week. March silver fell 21.8 cents, or 1.5%, to $14.637 an ounce, with prices settling around 0.4% lower on the week.
The ICE U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the U.S. currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.4%. A stronger U.S. unit is seen as a headwind for commodities priced in dollars as it makes them more expensive to users of other currencies.
U.S. data released Friday was solid, with November retail sales showing the holiday season got off to a strong start. Industrial production was up 0.6% in November, posting the strongest gain in three months. The flash reading of the U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers index, however, fell to a 13-month low of 53.9 in December.
The softer data was blamed for a weak tone across global equity markets, with U.S. benchmark stock indexes moving broadly lower on Wall Street. The dollar, meanwhile, was seen as a beneficiary, rising solidly versus most major rivals.
China's business activity mostly slowed in November, with industrial output showing a weaker-than-expected year-over-year rise of 5.4% in November after a 5.9% rise in October. Retail sales rose 8.1% year-over-year versus 8.6% in October, also coming in below expectations.