Gold prices fell to their lowest level in about two weeks on Tuesday as the dollar firmed up slightly against most major currencies.
The dollar moved higher as risk sentiment was hit after the World Health Organization chief warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus outbreak and that “it’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.”
A historic plunge in oil prices overnight, dismal first-quarter earnings reports and U.S. President Donald Trump’s comments that he would sign an executive order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States also weighed on investors’ appetite for riskier assets.
The dollar index rose to 100.48 in early trades this morning, and despite subsequently falling to around 100.00, recovered to 100.23 later on, netting a gain of about 0.27%.
Gold futures for June ended down $23.40, or about 1.4%, at $1,687.80 an ounce, the lowest close since April 8.
Silver futures for May ended down $0.738 at $14.876 an ounce, while copper futures for May dropped $0.0384 to $2.2295 per pound.
In U.S. economic news, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales pulled back sharply in the month of March.
NAR said existing home sales plunged by 8.5% to an annual rate of 5.27 million in March after spiking by 6.3% to a revised of 5.76 million in February.
Economists had expected existing home sales to plummet 8.1% to a rate of 5.30 million from the 5.77 million originally reported for the previous month.
Despite the steep monthly decline, existing home sales in March were up by 0.8% compared to the same month a year ago, reflecting the ninth straight month of year-over-year growth.
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