Gold prices extend losses after upbeat U.S. trade data, ADP report

San Francisco (Jun 3)   Gold prices fell to the lowest levels of the session on Wednesday, after a batch of upbeat data bolstered the case for a U.S. interest rate hike this year.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery declined $5.60, or 0.47%, to trade at $1,188.80 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours. Prices held in a range between $1,186.90 and $1,195.60.

A day earlier, gold prices tacked on $5.70, or 0.48%, to settle at $1,194.40. Futures were likely to find support at $1,180.20, the low from May 28, and resistance at $1,204.70, the high from June 1.

The Commerce Department said that the U.S. trade deficit narrowed by 19.2% in April to $40.88 billion from a deficit of $50.57 billion in March. Analysts had expected the U.S. trade deficit to narrow to $44.0 billion in April.

U.S. exports edged up 1% to $189.91 billion in April, while imports declined 3.3% to $230.78 billion.

The report came after payroll processing firm ADP said non-farm private employment rose by 201,000 in May, just above expectations for an increase of 200,000. The economy created 165,000 jobs in April.

While not viewed as a reliable guide for the government jobs report due on Friday, June 5, it does give guidance on private-sector hiring.

The upbeat data raised hopes that the economy was regaining strength after contracting in the first quarter, fuelling speculation that the Federal Reserve could raise rates as soon as September.

The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was up 0.4% at 96.37, moving off a more than one-week low of 95.69 hit overnight.

Also on the Comex, silver futures for July delivery dropped 26.1 cents, or 1.55%, to trade at $16.53 a troy ounce. Silver rose 11.9 cents, or 0.71%, on Tuesday to end at $16.79.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for July delivery declined 0.2 cents, or 0.06%, to trade at $2.734 a pound. On Tuesday, futures advanced 1.6 cents, or 0.59%, to close at $2.736.

Meanwhile, the euro moved lower against the dollar after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi reiterated that the bank's €60 billion monthly bond buying program is set to run until September 2016 or until inflation is on a sustained path to 2%.

The comments came after the ECB held its benchmark interest rate at a record-low 0.05%. The central bank also kept its marginal lending at 0.30% and left its deposit facility rate unchanged at -0.20%.

Source: MoneyControl