CHICAGO, March 27 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell Thursday, extending losses to a second-straight session to close below 1,300 U.S. dollars an ounce for the first time in more than six weeks.
The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 8.7 dollars, or 0.67 percent, to settle at 1,294.7 dollars per ounce, the lowest settlement for a most-active contract since Feb. 11.
A modest GDP growth and expectations that U.S. interest rates might rise sooner than expected were key factors in falling gold price on the day, according to some market analysts.
U.S. data releases suggest a firm growth, with weekly jobless claims of the week ending March 22 falling to a four-month low and the economic growth in the final three months of 2013 rose to a 2. 6 percent annual pace from 2.4 percent. Upbeat economic data tends to dull gold's safe-haven appeal.
The ICE dollar index, which measures the U.S. dollar against a basket of six major rival currencies, edged higher Thursday, also putting pressure on the precious metal. Silver for May delivery lost 7.2 cents, or 0.36 percent, to close at 19.708 dollars per ounce.