CHICAGO, May 23 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell Friday following positive U.S. home sales data and strength in U.S. equities.
The most active gold contract for June fell 3.3 U.S. dollars, or 0.25 percent, to settle at 1291.7 dollars per ounce.
Gold ended the week with a modest decline of 0.1 percent.
U.S. Commerce Department said Friday that sales of new U.S. homes climbed for the first time this year by 6.4 percent to 433, 000 in April. The increase is the biggest in six months and many analysts credit it to a surge in Midwestern U.S. demand. The report reduced traders' concerns about the possibility of an extended slump for the residential real-estate market.
U.K.'s Financial Conduct Authority Friday fined Barclays Plc 26 million pounds (43.68 million U.S. dollars) for failures in internal controls that allowed a trader to manipulate the setting of gold prices.
Traders are also watching developments with regard to the election in Ukraine.
Deutsche Bank attributed gold's narrow trading range over the past month to "the opposing forces of dollar strength and a U.S. bond market rally," and maintained its bearish gold-price outlook by putting average 2014 gold prices at 1,261 dollars an ounce and average 2015 gold prices at 1,163 dollars.
Market analysts believe the gold market will remain trendless around the 1,300 dollars level until there is a shift in market dynamics, such as an about-face in stocks, or a surprise announcement from the Federal Reserve.
Gold trading on COMEX will be closed on Monday for the Memorial Day holiday.
Silver for July delivery lost 10.2 cents, or 0.52 percent, to close at 19.418 dollars per ounce. Platinum for July delivery lost 20.3 dollars, or 1.36 percent, to close at 1472.8 dollars per ounce.