Gold Futures Snap 4-day Winning Streak, Settle Slightly Lower
Gold futures ended lower on Wednesday, retreating from a two-week high and snapping a four-day winning streak, as strong economic data dimmed the commodity’s safe-haven appeal.
However, worries about spikes in coronavirus cases and the slow pace of vaccination in several countries limited gold’s downside.
The dollar index, which fell to 92.14 around late morning, recovered well and was last seen at 92.41, up 0.08% from the previous close.
Gold futures for June ended down $1.40 or less than 0.1% at $1,741.60 an ounce.
Prices remained not much changed after the Federal Reserve released the minutes of its latest policy meeting.
Silver futures for May ended up $0.020 at $25.247 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.0545 per pound, down $0.0620 from the previous close.
In U.S. economic news, a report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. trade deficit widened to $71.1 billion in February from a revised $67.8 billion in January. Economists had expected the deficit to widen to $70.5 billion from the $68.2 billion originally reported for the previous month.
The wider deficit came as the value of exports tumbled by 2.6% to $187.3 billion, while the value of imports slid by 0.7% to $258.3 billion.
The minutes from the Federal Reserve’s latest monetary policy meeting indicated the central bank is unlikely to change its ultra-loose monetary policy anytime soon.
Participants in the March meeting acknowledged the improvement in the medium-term outlook for real GDP growth and employment but continued to see the uncertainty surrounding that outlook as elevated.
The minutes showed most participants still viewed the coronavirus pandemic as posing considerable risks to the economic outlook.
Strong eurozone and U.K. service sector activity data raised hopes about a quick economic recovery. Data showed the Eurozone’s services PMI increased from 45.7 to 49.6 in March. That was up from a preliminary reading of 48.8.
The IHS Markit/CIPS composite Purchasing Managers’ Index for U.K. – measuring Britain’s huge services sector and its manufacturers – rose to 56.4 in March from 49.6 in February.
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