American sales of previously owned homes dropped in January to the lowest in more than a year. Gold, after slumping last year by the most since 1981, has rallied 10 percent in 2014 as signs that the U.S. economy wasn’t recovering in line with expectations renewed the metal’s appeal for investors.
Gold continues to get some support from weaker U.S. data. Price gains will be capped amid signs that the Federal Reserve will probably press on with stimulus cuts.
Gold futures for April delivery added 0.5 percent to settle at $1,323.60 an ounce at 1:37 p.m. on the Comex in New York. On Feb. 18, the metal climbed to $1,332.40, the highest for a most active contract since Oct. 31. Prices gained 0.4 percent this week, a third straight increase.
Silver futures for delivery in May gained 0.5 percent to $21.815 an ounce, extending the week’s advance to 1.8 percent.
Palladium futures for delivery in March added 0.5 percent to $740 an ounce on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Trading was almost double the average in the past 100 days, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
Platinum futures for April delivery gained 1.1 percent to $1,427.90 an ounce amid concern that an ongoing strike will crimp output from South Africa, the biggest producer.