Gold futures - Weekly outlook: March 25 - 29

Shutterstock photo - Gold futures ended mildly lower on Friday, but held near the previous session's one-month high as concerns over Cyprus and indications the Federal Reserve will keep its asset-purchase program in place for the indefinite future boosted the appeal of the precious metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery eased down 0.4% on Friday to settle the week at USD1,608.00 a troy ounce.

Despite Friday's mild decline, gold futures prices posted a gain of 1% on the week, the third consecutive weekly advance.

On Thursday, Comex gold prices rose to USD1,615.80 a troy ounce, the strongest level since February 26.

Gold prices were likely to find support at USD1,575.80 a troy ounce, the low from March 14 and near-term resistance at USD1,619.40, the high from February 26.

Uncertainty remained over the situation in Cyprus, where negotiations aimed at finding an alternative solution on a bailout deal continued after the country's parliament rejected a controversial bank deposit tax in a vote earlier in the week.

Cyprus needs to come up with EUR5.8 billion on its own in order to secure EUR10 billion in rescue loans from international creditors.

Adding to worries, the European Central Bank said Thursday that it will cut off liquidity to Cypriot banks on Monday if an agreement with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund on an alternative bailout solution is not in place.

Investors often buy gold as a refuge against economic and political uncertainty.

Sentiment on the precious metal remained upbeat after the Federal Reserve reiterated its commitment to its asset purchase program despite signs of a strengthening U.S. economy.

The U.S. central bank announced Wednesday that it will leave its loose monetary policy unchanged, citing concerns over high unemployment levels and risks from tax increases and federal government spending cuts.

Fed officials reaffirmed their commitment to keeping monetary policy accommodative at least until unemployment falls to 6.5%. The current unemployment rate is 7.7%.

Moves in the gold price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the Fed could bring quantitative easing to an end this year.

In the week ahead investors will be closely monitoring developments in Cyprus, as a failure to reach a deal could see the country exit the euro zone.

Market participants will also be looking ahead to a flurry of data from the U.S., including reports on durable goods orders, home sales and consumer confidence.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for May delivery dropped 1.7% on Friday to settle the week at USD28.70 a troy ounce. On the week, silver future prices declined a modest 0.15%.

Meanwhile, copper for May delivery rallied 1.1% on Friday to close the week at USD3.472 a pound. Despite Friday's strong gain, copper prices lost 1.3% on the week.

Comex copper prices fell to a seven-month low of USD3.389 a pound on March 19, as worries over a controversial bailout deal for Cyprus weighed on appetite for growth-linked assets. - offers an extensive set of professional tools for the Forex, Commodities, Futures and the Stock Market including real-time data streaming, a comprehensive economic calendar, as well as financial news and technical & fundamental analysis by in-house experts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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