Gold maintains losses after U.S. data; silver, copper down 2%


Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices held on to heavy losses on Thursday, as investors digested a flurry of mostly upbeat U.S. economic data and amid growing expectations that the Federal Reserve could raise interest rates as soon as next year.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery fell to a session low of $1,321.10 a troy ounce, the weakest level since February 28.

Gold last traded at $1,327.80 an ounce during U.S. morning hours, down 1.01%, or $13.50. Prices lost 1.3%, or $17.70, on Wednesday to settle at $1,341.30.

Futures were likely to find short-term support at $1,320.10 a troy ounce, the low from February 28 and resistance at $1,360.20, the high from March 19.

Meanwhile, silver for May delivery tumbled 2.2%, or 45.8 cents, to trade at $20.36 a troy ounce. Silver ended Wednesday's session down 0.17%, or 3.6 cents, to settle at $20.82 an ounce.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said that its manufacturing index improved to a reading of 9.0 this month from February's reading of minus 6.3, suggesting a return to growth following weather-related weakness in February.

Meanwhile, U.S. existing home sales declined in line with expectations in February, as rising prices and severe winter weather caused existing-home sales to slip.

The National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales fell 0.4% to a seasonally adjusted 4.60 million units last month from 4.62 million in January.

A separate report showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose by a less than expected 5,000 people to a seasonally adjusted 320,000.

Gold sold off on Wednesday after Fed Chair Janet Yellen indicated that the central bank could begin to raise interest rates about six months after the bond-buying program winds up, which is expected to happen this fall.

The central bank said that it would reduce its monthly bond buying program by an additional $10 billion to a total of $55 billion a month, in a widely anticipated decision.

The Fed also updated its forward guidance, discarding the 6.5% unemployment threshold for considering when to increase borrowing costs and said it will look at a wide range of information.

Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for May delivery lost 1.55%, or 4.6 cents, to trade at $2.941 a pound, as investors remained concerned over the health of China's economy.

The industrial metal fell to $2.877 a pound on March 19, the lowest since July 2010, amid growing anxiety over domestic bond defaults in the Chinese property sector. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.
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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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