Gold futures extend losses amid broadly stronger U.S. dollar

Gold futures extend losses amid broadly stronger U.S. dollar
Futures Pros – Gold futures extended losses on Thursday, sliding to four-day low as the U.S. dollar was broadly stronger after Moody’s cut Spain’s debt rating by one notch and China unexpectedly posted its largest trade deficit in seven years. 

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded at USD1,418.05 a troy ounce during early U.S. trade, dropping 0.78%.    

It earlier fell to USD1,416.45 a troy ounce, the lowest price since March 4.

Earlier in the day, Moody’s downgraded Spain’s government-bond rating by one notch to Aa2 from Aa1 and assigned it a negative outlook, saying the country’s bank restructuring will cost more than the government currently expects, “leading to a further increase in the public-debt ratio.”

Elsewhere, a government report showed that China unexpectedly posted a trade deficit of USD7.3 billion in February, confounding expectations for a surplus of USD4 billion, as export growth slowed sharply in the wake of the Lunar New Year holiday.
The dollar index, which tracks the performance of the greenback versus a basket of six other major currencies, was up 0.52% to hit 77.41 during early U.S. trade.  

A stronger dollar saps demand for raw materials as an alternative investment and makes metals priced in the currency more expensive in terms of other monies.

Elsewhere, silver for May delivery plunged 2.24% to trade at USD35.27 a troy ounce, while copper for May delivery shed 0.21% to trade at USD4.194 a pound during early U.S. trade.  

Later in the day, the U.S. was to publish a key weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as data on the country’s trade balance.