Investing.com - Gold prices eased in Asia Wednesday with the focus on demand prospects in India and China as the world''s top two importers of the yellow metal.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, Gold futures for August delivery traded at $1,262.20 a troy ounce, down 0.28%, after hitting an overnight session low of $1,264.60 and off a high of $1,293.50.
China has mulled measures to boost its economy and India''s recent federal election brought in a new government dedicated to taming inflation and shoring up public finances. Investors are eyeing those efforts for signals on demand, particularly India where the previous government had moved to restrict gold imports.
The Conference Board reported earlier that its consumer confidence index rose to 83.0 this month from 81.7 in April, in line with market expectations.
Elsewhere, the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller house price index rose 12.4% in March from a year earlier, beating forecasts for a gain of 11.8% and following a rise of 12.9% in February.
Healthy wholesale pricing data firmed the greenback as well.
The Commerce Department reported earlier U.S. durable goods orders rose 0.8% in April, confounding expectations for a 0.5% fall, after a 3.6% increase in March, whose figure was revised up from a previously estimated 2.9% rise.
Core durable goods orders, which are stripped of volatile transportation items, rose 0.1% last month, missing expectations for a 0.3% increase. Core durable goods orders in March were revised up to a 2.9% gain from a previously estimated 2.4% rise.
Tuesday''s data renewed market expectations for the Federal Reserve to continue winding down stimulus programs this year provided recovery remains on track.
Fed stimulus tools such as monthly bond purchases weaken the dollar by suppressing long-term interest rates, which makes gold an attractive hedge.
Silver for July delivery was down 0.05% at $19.057 a troy ounce. Copper futures for July delivery were up 0.04% at $3.173 a pound.
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