Gold futures settled lower on Tuesday for a second session in a row, pressured by a rise in U.S. equities as traders assessed data showing a gauge of U.S. consumer confidence for April fell short of forecasts, but the reading for March was revised to its highest stage since 2008.
Gold for June delivery GCM4 -0.36% fell $2.70, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,296.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices were trading just under $1,299 shortly before the consumer confidence data were released. The July contract for silver CLN4 -0.93% lost 8 cents, falling less than 1% to $19.54 an ounce.
The U.S. consumer confidence index fell to 82.3 in April from a revised 83.9 in March, the Conference Board said Tuesday. The upward revision in March put the index in that month at the highest level since January 2008. Still, the April reading fell short of Wall Street forecasts. “Consumer confidence data without any doubt was a weak number and it was unable to create enough noise to attract much attention,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade, adding that the range for gold prices now stands at $1,270 to $1,320. “Going forward, the major driver for gold is going to be the FOMC meeting,” which concludes Wednesday with the central bank’s monetary-policy announcement.
The European Union and U.S. sanctions on Russia have “proven to be a no show,” said Aslam, explaining that they do not involve sectors of the economy and are implied to a few specific people. “The major sanctions which were mentioned during the war of words between the U.S. and Russia were never imposed — hence a no show, but a slap on the wrist.”
Gold’s dance with the $1,300 level ended just shy of the mark Monday, even as equities ended mixed ahead of a heap of economic data. But Stan Shamu of IG Markets sees the crisis in Ukraine helping to boost prices in the coming days. “With further sanctions for Russia looking certain, traders are likely to continue seeking safety in gold in the near term,” he wrote. “If gold continues to rally, April highs at $1,331 will be the key level to look out for this week.”
In related news Tuesday, news reports said Deutsche Bank has resigned its seat on the London gold and silver fix without finding a buyer. Deutsche Bank’s decision comes on the heels of a Bloomberg article published earlier this year that said the London gold fix, a benchmark used by the gold market to value the metal, may have been manipulated for a decade by the banks setting it.
Elsewhere in metals trading, July platinum PLN4 -0.55% added $11.70, or 0.8%, to $1,431.40 an ounce, while June palladium PAM4 -0.56% climbed $7.20, or 0.9%, to $807.90 an ounce. High-grade copper for July delivery HGN4 +0.10% closed down 2 cents, or 0.7%, at $3.07 a pound.
Shares of gold and silver miners climbed, tracking the broader equities market higher. The Philadelphia Gold and Silver Index XAU +1.65% added 1.4% Tuesday afternoon. The SPDR Gold Trust GLD -0.46% edged down by 0.1%.