CHICAGO, Feb. 26 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dropped on upbeat new home sales in the U.S. Wednesday. It was the first drop of gold in the past four sessions.
The most active gold contract for April delivery dropped 14.7 dollars, or 1.09 percent, to settle at 1,328 dollars per ounce.
Data released Wednesday showed that sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. rose 9.6 percent in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 468,000, the fastest pace in more than five years and beating economists' expectations. Better than expected economic figures boosted U.S. dollar and the stock market, which in turn dampened gold.
The civil unrest in Ukraine and Thailand recently has lent a support to gold, putting the technical chart of gold upwards. Looking ahead, however, the rise seemed unsustainable as the SPDR Gold Trust kept seeing an exodus of capital.
Opinions were divided. While some market analysts expect gold prices to move down to 1,050 dollars per ounce in July, others think it likely that gold prices will surge to 1,500 dollars by the year-end, driven by stronger demand from India and China.
Investors are also waiting for U.S. Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's testimony to the Senate Banking Committee on the economy and monetary policy Thursday.
Silver for March delivery lost 70.9 cents, or 3.23 percent, to close at 21.254 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery shed 13.5 dollars, or 0.94 percent, to close at 1,429.1 dollars per ounce.