Gold, silver edge lower ahead of U.S. durable goods report

Gold and silver prices edged lower on Thursday, as market players looked ahead to key U.S. economic data later in the day for further indications on the strength of the economy and the future course of monetary policy.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for June delivery held in a tight range between $1,281.20 a troy ounce and $1,287.30 an ounce.

Gold last traded at $1,284.00 an ounce during early U.S. morning hours, down 0.05%, or 60 cents. Futures advanced 0.27%, or $3.50 an ounce, on Wednesday to settle at $1,284.60.

Gold futures were likely to find support at $1,275.80 a troy ounce, the low from April 22 and resistance at $1,302.05, the high from April 21.

Meanwhile, silver for May delivery shed 0.54%, or 10.5 cents, to trade at $19.33 a troy ounce. Silver ended Wednesday’s session up 0.4%, or 7.7 cents, to settle at $19.43 an ounce.

Silver futures were likely to find support at $19.23 an ounce, the low from April 21 and resistance at $19.54, the high from April 23.

The U.S. is to publish the weekly report on initial jobless claims as well as a report on durable goods orders for March later in the session.

Data released Wednesday showed that sales of new homes in the U.S. fell to the lowest level since July 2013 in March.

Sales on new homes dropped 14.5% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 384,000, lower than analysts' forecasts for a sales rate of 450,000.

Comex gold and silver prices have been under heavy selling pressure in recent weeks as upbeat U.S. economic data underlined expectations that the Federal Reserve will begin to raise rates sooner than previously thought.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for May delivery rallied 0.81%, or 2.5 cents, to trade at a seven-week high of $3.084 a pound, amid speculation demand in top consumer China will strengthen in the near-term

April and May are seasonally strong months for copper consumption in China amid brisk construction activity. The Asian nation is the world’s largest copper consumer, accounting for almost 40% of world consumption last year.