Gold futures on the COMEX Division of the New York Mercantile Exchange declined for the second straight day Tuesday on speculation that the economy turmoil eased as stock market bounced continuously, further reducing gold's safe-haven appeal. Silver ended lower too, while platinum rose slightly.
Gold price for April delivery was down 5.20 U.S. dollars, or 0.6 percent, to settle at 916.80 dollars an ounce. May silver closed at 12.67 dollars per ounce, losing 22 cents. April platinum gained2.40 dollars to 1,051.80 dollars per ounce.
The Commerce Department reported that U.S. housing starts rose 22 percent to an annual rate of 583,000 in February from a revised January estimate of 477,000. It was the first increase in recent eight months, while economists had expected it to fall to 450,000 from the 466,000 originally reported for the previous month.
Sparked by the unexpectedly strong housing data, the U.S. Stock market in New York soared to a new 4-week closing high as the Dow industrials climbed 2.5 percent on Tuesday, reducing not only investors' sentiments on economy crisis but also the safe-haven appeal of the precious metal.
The Federal Open Market Committee opened its two-day meeting and a rate decision is expected to be made on Wednesday, which is widely anticipated to be unchanged at a range of zero to 0.25 percent.
(Xinhua News Agency March 18, 2009)