Beause the gold market is sniffing out stagflation in the U.S., economic data is being more closely watched for signs of a weaker recovery. The February wholesale inventory report does add grist for the stagflation theme, as inventories were up 1% and sales were down 0.8%.
Gold had sagged beforehand, to $1,466, but had rebounded fifteen minutes before the report's release. Although the metal's rise had more to do with WTI crude oil touching $112 and the looming U.S. government shutdown due to the debt ceiling not being increased, the report did add to the recovery. At $1,468.50 as of the time of its release, the metal kept climbing to above $1,470 right after the number hit the Internet. Although gold slipped back again, it managed to climb later to above $1,471.