28.03.201915:18:00UTC+00Gold Futures Settle Sharply Lower

Gold futures declined sharply on Thursday, extending losses to a third successive session, as the dollar gained in strength against most major currencies amid growing worries about global economic slowdown.

The dollar index rose to 97.30, gaining gained nearly 0.4%, with its safe haven appeal turning out to be stronger than the yellow metal today.

Gold futures for April settled at $1,289.80 an ounce, losing $20.60, or 1.6%, the biggest single session loss in about 7 months.

Gold futures for June ended down $21.60, or 1.6%, at $1,295.30 an ounce.

On Wednesday, gold futures for April ended down $4.60, or 0.4%, at $1,310.40 an ounce, after falling $7.60, or 0.6%, a session earlier.

Silver futures for May ended down $0.325, at $14.973 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.8725 per pound, gaining $0.0095 for the session.

The dollar rose against major currencies following dovish comments from the European Central Bank and the Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

The ECB President Mario Draghi's recent comments that "adjusting forward rate guidance" is an option to fulfill the bank's inflation target of close but below 2%, hints at monetary policy easing by the central bank.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand has kept interest rates unchanged and indicated that its next move would be to lower interest rates.

Mounting uncertainty about Brexit after the British Lawmakers failed to rally behind any single option to exit from the EU aided the dollar's upmove.

On the trade front, reports suggest the possibility of the U.S. and China concluding trade negotiations in the next month or so.

After the current round of discussions in Beijing, officials from the U.S. and China are scheduled to meet next week in Washington for further negotiations.

In U.S. economic news, a report from the Commerce Department showed U.S. economic growth slowed by more than previously estimated in the fourth quarter.

The report said GDP climbed by 2.2% percent in the fourth quarter compared to the previously reported 2.6% increase. Economists had expected the pace of growth to be downwardly revised to 2.4%.

With the downward revision, the pace of GDP growth in the fourth quarter is notably slower than the 3.4% jump in the third quarter.

The National Association of Realtors released a report showing an unexpected pullback in pending home sales in the month of February.

NAR said its pending home sales index slumped by 1% to 101.9 in February after soaring by 4.3% to 102.9 in January. Economists had expected pending home sales to climb by 0.7%.

The Labor Department's report said initial jobless claims dipped to 211,000, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level of 216,000.

The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 225,000 from the 221,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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