Gold prices holding gains as U.S. new home construction rises 1.4% in December

The gold market is holding in positive territory and seeing little reaction to stronger than expected U.S. housing construction data.

U.S. housing starts rose 1.4% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.702million units in December, the Commerce Department said on Wednesday. The data beat expectations as economists were expecting to see an annual construction rate of 1.65 million homes. November's data was revised slightly lower to f 1.678 million units.

For the year housing construction is up 6.5%, the report said.

Meanwhile, building permits which is a precursor to future projects, jumped 9.1% to 1.873 million last month up from November's revised total of 1.717 million. For the year, building permits are up more than 6.5%.

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