CHICAGO, March 28 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed lower Friday as U.S. economy keeps recovering.
The most active gold contract for June delivery dropped 0.5 dollars, or 0.04 percent, to settle at 1,294.3 dollars per ounce.
Gold ended the week with a loss of 3.1 percent but concluded the first quarter of this year with a gain of 7.7 percent.
With eased tension in Ukraine, economic data again took hold of gold market. U.S. Commerce Department reported Friday that U.S. consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in February on a seasonally adjusted basis, the fastest growth since November. The upbeat economic data, together with a 2.6-percent U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter of last year and initial jobless claims touching the lowest level in four months, drew investors to equities from gold.
Even a report from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters putting the consumer sentiment gauge at a final March reading of 80, the lowest level since November, failed to prop up gold market.
The 1,300-dollar level is a psychological support for gold. Now thanks in part to strong economic data, this level has been broken. Market analysts believe that under the expectation for a rising U. S. dollar, the growth of gold will be limited this year.
Investors are also paying close attention to the U.S. Federal Reserve's plan to scale back its bond purchases and eventually return to normal monetary policy.
Silver for May delivery rose 8.2 cents, or 0.42 percent, to close at 19.79 dollars per ounce. Platinum for July delivery climbed 8.8 dollars, or 0.63 percent, to close at 1,407.2 dollars per ounce.