Gold dips on U.S. housing, regional factory data

Gold prices edged to 2-month lows on Tuesday as a fresh batch of solid U.S. housing and regional factory barometers gave support for the greenback, which trades inversely with the yellow metal.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for June delivery traded at $1,282.90 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 0.43%, up from a session low of $1,277.60 and off a high of $1,292.70.

The June contract settled down 0.42% at $1,288.50 on Monday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,265.00 a troy ounce, the low from Feb. 10, and resistance at $1,301.20, Monday's high.

In the U.S. earlier, industry data revealed that existing home sales fell by 0.2% in March to 4.59 million units, and while soft, the figure did beat expectations for 4.55 million units.

A separate report showed that the Richmond Fed manufacturing index jumped to 7 this month, from a reading of -7 in March, beating expectations for a reading of 0.

A day earlier, the Conference Board reported that its index of leading indicators, which measures future economic activity, increased 0.8% in March after a 0.5% rise in February, beating expectations for a 0.7% reading.

Also on Monday, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to 0.20 in March from 0.53 in February, in line with expectations.

The numbers reminded investors that even though the timing of rate hikes in the U.S. remains unclear, the Federal Reserve remains on track to continue tapering its monthly bond-purchasing program this year as the economy recovers.

Fed bond purchases, currently standing at $55 billion a month, weaken the dollar by suppressing interest rates, making gold and attractive hedge while such policies remain in effect.

Elsewhere, physical gold funds continued to see outflows, which pressured prices lower as well.

Meanwhile, silver for May delivery was up 0.29% at US$19.408 a troy ounce, while copper futures for May delivery were up 0.39% at US$3.055 a pound.