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Gold Closes Modestly Higher

3/21/2012 2:14 PM ET

Gold futures closed modestly higher Wednesday, as investors found the cheaper precious metal a bargain, even as the dollar moved up against a basket of major currencies with some mixed housing data from the U.S.

Gold for April delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $3.30 or 0.2 percent to close at $1,650.30 an ounce Wednesday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Gold traded at an intraday high of $1,661.90 an ounce and a low of $1,646.30 an ounce.

The euro was trading lower against the dollar at $1.3201 on Wednesday, as compared to $1.3225 late Tuesday. The euro had scaled a high of $1.3284 intraday with a low of $1.3180.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, traded at 79.702 on Wednesday, up from 79.582 late Tuesday. The dollar scaled a high of 79.83 intraday, with a low of 79.32.

Yesterday, gold shed $20 to settle at a weekly-low mostly on demand concerns with indications of slowdown in Chinese economic growth after it hiked oil prices and BHP's indicating weak iron ore demand.

In economic news from the US, the National Association of Realtors said existing home sales slipped 0.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.59 million in February from an upwardly revised 4.63 million in January. Economists expected existing home sales to edge up to 4.61 million from the 4.57 million that had been reported for the previous month. The modest drop in existing home sales in February came after sales surged up by an upwardly revised 5.7 percent in January.

The Bank of England retained its quantitative easing unchanged at GBP 325 billion through a split vote as two members preferred a GBP 25 billion increase in the program, the minutes of the meeting showed. All members voted to retain a record low 0.5 percent interest rate. The meeting was held on March 7 and 8.

by RTT Staff Writer

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