- Gold prices fell in Asia on Tuesday, continuing a decline seen in the U.S. on support for the dollar and in thin trade with Japanese markets shut and the region gearing up for the May 1 holiday.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery traded at $1,295.70 a troy ounce, down 0.25%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,292.20 and off a high of $1,306.50.

Overnight, gold prices fell after an upbeat report on U.S. home sales blew past expectations and fueled demand for the dollar, which tends to trade inversely with gold, though bottom fishing trimmed earlier losses.

The dollar firmed and gold fell after the National Association of Realtors reported that pending home sales jumped 3.4% in March, far surpassing expectations for a 1% gain.

Pending home sales for February were revised to a 0.5% drop from a previously reported decline of 0.8%.

On a year-over-year basis, pending home sales were still down 7.9% in March, though the data firmed the dollar by reminding investors that the Federal Reserve will continue tapering monthly bond purchases as the year unfolds.

Fed bond purchases, currently set at $55 billion a month, weaken the dollar by suppressing long-term borrowing costs, making gold an attractive hedge.

Talk of Fed tapering tends to strengthen the greenback and soften gold prices.

Silver for July delivery was down 0.04% at US$19.612 a troy ounce, while copper futures for July delivery were down 0.04% at US$3.091 a pound.

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