CHICAGO, March 25 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange bottomed out of the five-week low Tuesday on mixed economic data.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 0.2 dollars, or 0.02 percent, to settle at 1,311.4 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported Tuesday that new U.S. homes sold at an annual rate of 440,000 in February, down 3.3 percent from January's one-year high. Meanwhile, S&P/Case-Shiller' s 20-city composite index released Tuesday showed that U.S. home prices slipped 0.1 percent in January for a third straight month. Downbeat economic data were supportive of gold.
Nevertheless, the Conference Board said Tuesday that its gauge of consumer confidence reached 82.3 in March, the highest level since January 2008, and higher than upwardly revised 78.3 in February.
Physical demand for gold also remained strong. Reports have it that Iraq has purchased 36 tonnes of gold this month, its largest purchase in three years.
Gold holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust exchange-traded fund climbed to 821.5 tonnes Monday, up 4.5 tonnes from Friday. Market analysts attributed this to the accelerated confrontation between Russia and the Western countries.
Silver for May delivery lost 8.8 cents, or 0.44 percent, to close at 19.979 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery slipped 10.3 dollars, or 0.72 percent, to close at 1,420.9 dollars per ounce.