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Gold trades above $1,200 with U.S. data, Greece in focus

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Shutterstock photo - - Gold prices traded above the $1,200-level on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to U.S. data later in the session for further indications on the strength of the economy and the timing of an interest rate hike.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery hit an intraday peak of $1,207.30 a troy ounce, the most since April 13, before trading at $1,204.80 during European morning hours, up $3.50, or 0.29%.

A day earlier, gold tacked on $8.70, or 0.73%, to close at $1,201.30. Futures were likely to find support at $1,183.50, the low from April 14, and resistance at $1,209.30, the high from April 13.

The dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.02% to trade at 98.52 early on Thursday.

The greenback remained under pressure after data on Wednesday showed that U.S. industrial production fell 0.6% in March, the largest fall since August 2012 and worse than economists' expectations for a 0.3% decline.

The weak report added to concerns over the strength of the economy and fuelled speculation that the Federal Reserve could delay hiking interest rates until late 2015, instead of tightening midyear.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release a string of reports, including jobless claims, building permits, housing starts and manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.

Meanwhile, uncertainty over Greece's bailout negotiations with its creditors remained in focus. Sentiment remained fragile after ratings agency Standard & Poor's downgraded the country's sovereign credit outlook to 'negative' from 'credit-watch negative'.

"Without deep economic reform or further relief, we expect Greece's debt and other financial commitments will be unsustainable," S&P said in a statement late Wednesday.

Elsewhere on the Comex, silver futures for May delivery jumped 14.9 cents, or 0.92%, to trade at $16.42 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery rose 3.5 cents, or 1.29%, to trade at $2.748 a pound.

Copper prices remained supported amid speculation policymakers in China will have to introduce further stimulus measures to jumpstart the economy amid lackluster growth.

The Asian nation is the world's largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption. offers an extensive set of professional tools for the financial markets.

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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.

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