Gold prices moved lower on Friday, as the week’s upbeat U.S. data continued to boost optimism over the strength of the economy and to support demand for the greenback.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery were down 0.24% at $1,242.10, the lowest since March 21.
The April contract ended Thursday’s session 0.69% lower at $1,245.00 an ounce.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,226.40, the low of March 21 and resistance at $1,253,60, Thursday’s high.
The greenback remained underpinned by a flurry of strong U.S. data this week, including Thursday’s reports on fourth quarter gross domestic product and initial jobless claims.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was steady at 100.36, just off a two-and-a-half week high of 100.47 hit overnight.
A strong U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.
But investors remained cautious as U.S. President Trump was scheduled later Friday to sign executive orders aimed at identifying abuses that are causing massive U.S. trade deficits and clamping down on non-payment of anti-dumping and anti subsidy duties on imports.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross specified that one of the orders directs a major review of the causes of U.S. trade deficits, including “currency misalignment.”
Markets were also jittery after British Prime Minister Theresa May formally began Brexit proceedings on Wednesday, launching a two-year negotiation process before the divorce comes into effect in late March 2019.
Later in the day, the European Union was set to tell the U.K. how it aims to negotiate its “orderly withdrawal” from the bloc, limit uncertainties for businesses and pave the way for a close future partnership.
Elsewhere in metals trading, silver futures for May delivery dropped 0.52% to $18.112 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery were little changed at $2.673 a pound.[:]