Gold slightly lower on profit-taking

Shutterstock photo - Gold futures are trading slightly lower in the early part of Asia's Friday session as traders lock in profits after the yellow metal flirted with a one-month in U.S. trading Thursday.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery rose 0.01% to USD1,614 per troy ounce in Asian trading Friday after settling up 0.41% at USD1,614.10 a troy ounce in U.S. trading on Thursday.

Gold futures were likely to test support USD1,601.20 a troy ounce, Wednesday's low, and resistance at USD1,619.40, the high from Feb. 26. Some decent economic data points help lift gold on Thursday.

In U.S. economic news, initial claims for jobless benefits rose by 2,000 to 336,000 last week. The less volatile 7,500 to 339,750, the lowest reading since February 2008.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia business outlook survey for March rose to a reading of 2 this month from -12.5 in February. Economists expected an increase to -3.

The National Association of Realtors said existing home sales rose 0.8% in February an annual rate of 4.98 million units last month, good for the best reading since November 2009. Economists expected a February reading of 5 million units. The January sales pace was revised up a 4.94 million units from the initially reported figure of 4.92 million units.

Gold also rose as traders remain pensive about the what comes next in Cyprus after the Cypriot parliament rejected a E.U. proposal to slap taxes on bank deposits, though the country must still find ways to raise EUR5.8 billion if it wishes to tap a EUR10 billion financial assistance package arranged by its European neighbors and the International Monetary Fund.

Banks in the tiny island nation of just 1.1 million people remain closed until next Monday.

Elsewhere, Comex silver for May delivery fell 0.25% to USD29.138 per ounce while copper for May delivery dropped 0.04% to USD3.437 per ounce. - 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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