Gold prices drifted lower on Wednesday, extending losses to a fourth straight session, although the downside was not much pronounced as rising coronavirus cases continued to raise concerns about growth.
A stronger dollar weighed on the yellow metal. The dollar index rose to 99.80, gaining about 0.75%.
It was not an entirely weak spell for the yellow metal today, as safe-haven demand pushed up prices early on in the session.
Gold futures for June ended down $5.20, or about 0.3%, at $1,591.40 an ounce, after hitting a high of $1,612.40 an ounce in the Asian session.
The contract, which dropped to a low of $1,576.00 around mid-morning, recovered and moved past $1,600 again before giving up gains.
Silver futures for May ended down $0.172 at $13.984 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $2.1745, per pound, down $0.0535 from previous close.
A report from payroll processor ADP said private sector employment fell by 27,000 jobs in March in the U.S. after jumping by a downwardly revised 179,000 jobs in February.
Economists had expected private sector employment to plunge by 150,000 jobs compared to the addition of 183,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.
The drop was much smaller than expected but still reflects the first decrease in private sector employment since September of 2017.
The Institute for Supply Management’s report showed a contraction in U.S. manufacturing activity in the month of March.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index dipped to 49.1 in March after edging down to 50.1 in February. While a reading below 50 indicates a contraction in manufacturing activity, economists had expected the index to show a steeper drop to 45.0.
A report released by the Commerce Department showed an unexpected decrease in U.S. construction spending in the month of February.
The report said construction spending slumped by 1.3% to an annual rate of $1.367 trillion in February after spiking by 2.8% to an upwardly revised rate of $1.385 trillion in January.
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