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Gold Dips To 10-week Low

The price of gold moved down to a 10-week low Wednesday morning as the US dollar strengthened after Federal Reserve policymakers yesterday said that the U.S. economy is gradually improving and appear less inclined to implement any more monetary stimulus.

Gold for June delivery, the most actively traded contract, lost $39.60 to $1,632.40 an ounce. Yesterday, gold ended marginally lower on weak demand for the precious metal even as the dollar ticked lower ahead of the release of FOMC minutes..

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, were unchanged at 1,286.62 tons.

This morning, the U.S. dollar advanced to a 2-week high versus the euro and the Swiss franc, while gaining to a weekly high against sterling. The buck was ticking lower versus the yen.

In economic news, euro zone retail sales declined in February, but at a slower-than-expected pace, data from Eurostat showed. Retail sales fell 0.1 percent month-on-month in February, following a 1.1 percent rise in January. Economists were expecting sales to dip 0.2 percent.

Meanwhile, Germany's factory orders grew 0.3 percent month-on-month in February, reversing January's 1.8 percent decline, the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology showed. The expansion was much smaller than the 1.5 percent consensus forecast. On a yearly basis, industrial orders fell by adjusted 6.1 percent, following a 6 percent drop in the previous month. Economists were expecting 5.5 percent decrease.

The European Central Bank is set to announce its decision at 7.45 am ET. Economists expect policymakers to maintain the rate at 1.00 percent. ECB President Mario Draghi is set to hold a the regular post-decision press conference at 8.30 a.m. ET.

Elsewhere, the prices of silver and platinum were moving lower in morning deals.

From the U.S., the ADP will come out with non-farm private employment report at 8:15 am ET. The consensus expectations are for an addition of 208,000 jobs by the sector in March following an addition of 170,000 jobs in February.

Later during the session, the Institute for Supply Management is scheduled to release the results of its non-manufacturing survey. The non-manufacturing index is likely to show a reading of 57 for March, almost flat with the February reading of 57.3.

by RTT Staff Writer

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