Gold futures turned lower on Tuesday, with prices on track to suffer their first loss in three sessions, but holding ground near a psychologically significant figure around $1,800 an ounce.

The precious metal entered the week with a spring in its step amid the “risk-off mood,” said Lukman Otunuga, senior research analyst at FXTM, in a market update. Gold prices rose 0.7% on Monday amid losses in the U.S. stock market. U.S. benchmark stock indexes also declined Tuesday after weaker-than-expected U.S. retail sales data for July.

A strong daily close for gold above at $1,792 could “open the doors towards $1,800 and $1,830,” said Otunuga. However, should the $1,792 mark prove to be “reliable resistance,” a decline back towards $1,760 could be in the cards.

December gold
GCZ21,
-0.31%

fell by $5.10, or 0.3%, at $1,784.70 an ounce, pulling back after trading as high as $1,797.60. On Monday, prices booked the loftiest finish since Aug. 5, FactSet data show.

September silver
SIU21,
-0.63%

SI00,
-0.63%
,
meanwhile, traded lower, down 4.1 cents, or 0.2%, at $23.73 an ounce.

Gold has enjoyed buying from uncertainty about the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus and its impact on the economies of countries like China, one of the biggest purchasers of commodities, analysts said.

In the U.S., government data Tuesday revealed that Americans cut spending at retail stores in July, with retail sales down 1.1% or more than the 0.3% decline forecast by economists polled by The Wall Street Journal.

The reading on industrial production was more upbeat, up by a seasonally adjusted 0.9% in July, the Federal Reserve reported Tuesday.

Gold sold off early last week, following a report for July released on Aug. 6 from the Labor Department that showed that the U.S. created 943,000 jobs in July in a sign the economic jobs recovery gained steam and may result in the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy.

“Sustained buying brought the price closer to $1800, almost recovering from a violent two-day selloff after a strong [nonfarm payrolls report],” wrote Alex Kuptsikevich, senior financial analyst at FxPro.

“Despite steady buying, downside risks still prevail in gold,” wrote the analyst.

“The bulls can only be serious after the price returns above $1800, where the long-term support and the 50-day moving average are located,” FxPro said.

Kuptsikevich says that an increase above that price might not only increase the current momentum, “but it could also bring back the long-term buyers in the precious metal after the 12-month correction from the historical peaks.”

Among other metals traded on Comex, September copper
HGU21,
-2.17%

shed 2.3% to $4.23 a pound.

October platinum
PLV21,
-2.35%

lost 1.2% to $1,009 an ounce and September palladium
PAU21,
-2.64%

lost 1.9% to $2,549.50 an ounce.

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