- Gold prices were mixed during Asian trading hours on Thursday after falling sharply overnight on renewed expectations that the Federal Reserve remains on course to continue tapering its monthly stimulus programs.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at $1,330.10 a troy ounce during Asian trading, up 0.01%.

On Wednesday, the April contract went up from a session low of $1,326.60 and off a high of $1,331.30 to settle at $1,330.00.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,319.10 a troy ounce, Monday''s low, and resistance at

The Commerce Department reported earlier that new home sales jumped 9.6% to 468,000 units in January, blowing past market expectations for a 1% decline to 400,000.

New home sales in December were revised up to 427,000 units from a previously reported 414,000 units.

The numbers renewed perceptions that a wave of soft factory, jobs and other economic indicators hitting the wire this year reflected rough winter weather that disrupted commerce and not an underlying softening of demand.

Investors were looking ahead to testimony by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday for insight as to whether or not the U.S. central bank will maintain the current pace of reductions to its stimulus program.

Markets were expecting that Yellen will echo past statements that the U.S. monetary authority will continue rolling back its asset purchase program, as long as the economy improves as expected.

The Fed is currently buying $65 billion in Treasury and mortgage debt a month to suppress interest rates to spur recovery, which weakens the dollar as a side effect, thus bolstering gold''s appeal as a hedge.

Meanwhile, silver for May delivery was up 0.02% and trading at US$21.283 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery were down 0.02% at US$3.199 a pound.

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