Gold futures ended sharply lower Tuesday, pressured by better-than-expected U.S. consumer confidence data and a rise in Chinese manufacturing activity, but prices for the metal posted gains for the month and quarter against the backdrop of concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.
An index of consumer confidence fell to 120 in March, from a revised 132.6 in February, but some forecasts called for a fall to 115.
The data was “much better than the forecast…and this has triggered the selloff for the gold price,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade. “But we are still deep in the woods and the number which matters the most for the markets is the US ISM manufacturing number” due Wednesday. See the U.S. economic calendar.
Meanwhile, data out of China showed signs of a modest economic rebound. China’s manufacturing gauge for the March official purchasing managers survey rose to 52, from a record low of 35.7 in the previous month as factories resumed work following monthslong shutdown.