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Gold Futures Settle Modestly Lower For The Day, Shed 2.8% In Week

Gold futures ended lower on Friday and posted a weekly loss as well, as the dollar firmed and global stocks gained in strength amid optimism about growth.

The dollar climbed with concerns around inflation and policy tightening supporting its uptick.

The dollar index surged up to 98.62 before paring gains. It was last seen hovering around 98.15, up 0.18% from the previous close.

Gold futures for April ended down by $13.90 or about 0.7% at $1,929.30 an ounce. Gold futures shed about 2.8% in the week.

Silver futures for May ended lower by $0.529 at $25.087 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.7395 per pound, up $0.0375 from the previous close.

In U.S. economic news, a report released by the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales plunged by 7.2% to an annual rate of 6.02 million in February after surging by 6.6% to a revised rate of 6.49 million in January.

Economists had expected existing home sales to tumble by 6.2% to a rate of 6.10 million from the 6.50 million originally reported for the previous month.

The steeper than expected pullback came after existing home sales reached their highest annual rate in a year in January.

A separate report from the Conference Board showed its U.S. leading economic index rose by slightly more than expected in the month of February. The Conference Board said its leading economic index increased by 0.3 percent in February after falling by a revised 0.5 percent in January.

Economists had expected the leading economic index to edge up by 0.2% compared to the 0.3% drop originally reported for the previous month.

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