Investing.com

Investing.com - Gold and silver prices declined on Thursday, as investors looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.



On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded in a range between $1,308.70 a troy ounce and $1,315.80 an ounce.



Gold prices last traded at $1,314.60 an ounce during European morning hours, down 0.45%. Futures ended Wednesday’s session down 0.3%, or $4.00, to settle at USD1,320.40 an ounce.



Prices were likely to find support at $1,299.90 a troy ounce, the low from February 14 and resistance at $1,332.40, the high from February 18.



Meanwhile, silver for March delivery held in a range between $21.40 a troy ounce and $21.70 an ounce. Prices last traded at $21.63 an ounce, down 1%.



The March contract shed 0.22% to settle at USD21.85 an ounce on Wednesday.



Silver futures were likely to find support at $21.31 a troy ounce, the low from February 18 and resistance at $21.98, the high from February 18.



The U.S. is to release the weekly report on initial jobless claims and data on consumer price inflation. The nation is also to release data on manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia region.



Minutes of the Federal Reserve’s January meeting published Wednesday indicated that the central bank will maintain the current pace of reductions to its stimulus program, as long as the economy continues to improve as expected.



Gold and silver prices have been well-supported in recent weeks amid concerns that the U.S. economic recovery has lost momentum since the end of last year as inclement winter weather weighed on growth.



Gold has gained nearly 7% since the beginning of the year, while silver has picked up approximately 7.5%.



Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for March delivery dropped 0.55% to trade at $3.267 a pound.



Data released earlier showed that China’s HSBC Flash Purchasing Managers Index fell to a seven-month low of 48.3 in February from a final reading of 49.5 in January, further suggesting that the world''s second-largest economy may be facing a slowdown.



The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.



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