Investing.com - Gold futures extended declines from Monday's U.S. session during Asian trading Tuesday as technical pressure continued to build with the yellow metal languishing below USD1,650 per troy ounce.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for March deliver slipped 0.31% to USD1,644.05 per troy ounce in Asian trading Tuesday. Gold settled down 1.27% at USD1,645.65 a troy ounce in U.S. trading on Monday.
Gold futures were likely to test support USD1,643.25 a troy ounce, the low from Jan. 7, and resistance at USD1,685.65, the high from Feb. 5.
Trade was quiet again today as markets in China, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and other nations will be closed for all or part of this week due to Chinese New Year festivities. To this point in February, 1.2 tons of gold have been pulled from the SPDR Gold Shares, the world's largest exchange traded fund backed by holdings of physical gold.
The Lunar New Year celebrations are seen as reducing gold liquidity in the financial markets and are also viewed as a catalyst for weak demand in the physical, particularly because China is among the world's largest gold consumers.
Elsewhere, press reports noted today that over the past decade, Russia's central bank acquired 570 tons of gold, making it the world's largest buyer of bullion over that time frame. Global central banks have been stepping up gold purchases in recent years as a means of diversifying their holdings, particularly after the U.S. has moved to weaken the dollar.
In October of 2012, gold comprised nearly 10% of Russia's foreign currency reserves, according to the World Gold Council. At current levels, Russia is believed to be home to the world's eighth-largest gold reserves.
Elsewhere, Comex silver for March delivery dropped 0.35% to USD30.803 while copper for March delivery fell 0.07% to USD3.723 per ounce.
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