Producers of metals and other raw materials slipped as data showed an increase in the pace of inflation in May.
The U.S. consumer price index jumped 0.6% last month, marking the fourth large gain in a row. The rate of inflation over the past year escalated to 5% from 4.2% in the prior month. That put it at the highest level since 2008.
Gold futures settled modestly higher. Gold markets have struggled to gain sustained altitude above a psychologically important price at $1,900 an ounce. A slide in bond yields and a weak dollar has intermittently served as support for the yellow metal, but uncertainty about the path of inflation has made for turbulent trade. Gold prices traded briefly lower after the inflation data, but moved up as U.S. Treasury yields weakened.
Meanwhile, two of the nation's largest steelmakers are keeping older mills closed, passing up a chance to sell more metal at record prices, because of the high cost of restarting and the threats to their survival from rivals' new plants. The closures have exacerbated a shortage of steel that is contributing to higher prices for cars, appliances and machinery.
United States Steel and Cleveland-Cliffs are keeping about seven million tons of production capacity out of service. That is roughly a tenth of domestic consumption in 2019, according to Metal Strategies, an industry consulting firm.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires