Gold ends down 1% on dollar, euro zone data

New York (Apr 22)  Gold closed lower on Wednesday, on selling pressure as the dollar pared some losses after euro zone data disappointed, while the absence of major developments in the Greek crisis left investors cautious.

U.S. gold futures for June delivery settled down $16.20, or 1.3 percent, at $1,186.90 an ounce. Spot gold, meanwhile, dropped 1.3 percent to $1,186 an ounce.

"There was solid selling on the 'fix', which started at $1,197.00 and fixed at $1,189.25," Deutsche Borse's MNI senior analyst Tony Walters said.

"Technically speaking, I just think there is good buying on dips, while rallies are seen as opportunities to sell," bullion broker Sharps Pixley's Chief Executive Ross Norman said.

The dollar, lower initially, pared losses to trade little changed versus a basket of major currencies, mostly on euro losses after a disappointing euro zone consumer confidence report for April.

Investors were monitoring the situation in Greece, which is quickly running out of cash. It pledged to its euro zone partners in February that by the end of April it would agree with creditors on a comprehensive list of reforms to get 7.2 billion euros remaining from its bailout.

But no package will be ready by Friday, when euro zone ministers are to meet in Riga.

Prolonged uncertainty over the debt crisis - which if unresolved could see Greece exiting the euro zone - could boost demand for bullion, seen as a safe haven, although the resulting strength in the dollar could limit gains.

"The (gold) market is growing tired of watching the Greek saga, while tensions in Yemen, an element of support to safe-haven bids, seem to have eased," Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen said.

Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it was ending air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

In the physical market, top bullion consumer India celebrated the gold-buying festival of Akshaya Tritiya on Tuesday. Gold purchases started slowly, despite a fall in local prices, as hard times in rural areas have hit demand and many buyers were holding back because they expected prices to fall even further.

Source: CNBC