CHICAGO, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed Wednesday at a near 6-week low on a stronger dollar.
The most active gold contract for April delivery dropped 8 dollars, or 0.61 percent, to settle at 1,303.4 dollars per ounce.
However, gold's fall Wednesday was limited as the precious metal found support from strong physical demand from China. Data showed that Chinese mainland's net import of gold from Hong Kong SAR totaled 112.3 tons in February, the highest level since October and nearly twice the import in the same month last year. In fact, in an effort to meet the high gold demand in Chinese market, the Chinese government in January granted more banks license to import gold.
Remarks about more monetary easing from European Central Bank officials also supported gold, although they pressured euro and boosted dollar at first.
Gold held above 1,300 dollars Wednesday and has not fallen under the 1,300-dollar mark since Feb. 13.
From a long-term perspective and considering dollar's potential in going strong, market analysts expect the average price of gold at around 1,256 dollars an ounce in 2014, down nearly 11 percent from 2013. Gold should continue to correct, they said.
Silver for May delivery lost 19.9 cents, or one percent, to close at 19.78 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery slipped 14.4 dollars, or 1.01 percent, to close at 1,406.5 dollars per ounce.