Gold futures edged lower in choppy trade Thursday as investors awaited a catalyst to break the precious metal out of its trading range.
Gold for April delivery fell $8.10, or 0.5%, to $1,725.10 an ounce. May silver fell 66.1 cents, or 2.6%, to $24.57 an ounce.
Gold remained lower after data showed U.S. first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week fell to 684,000 from 781,000. Separately, fourth-quarter gross domestic product data was revised to show the economy expanded at a 4.3% annualized rate versus a previous estimate of 4.1%.
Earlier, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, in an interview with National Public Radio, said the central bank would provide investors with advance notice of plans to pull back its emergency support to the economy.
Gold has been stuck in a lateral trading range around $1,730 an ounce as traders look for a clear signal on direction, said Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, in a note.
“Bullish theories are supported by the huge liquidity injected into the system by central banks in the last few months, while uncertainty remains just around the corner with any significant correction of stocks likely to trigger a fresh rally for bullion,” he said. “On the flip side, ‘inflation’ and ‘tapering’ are the two main words worrying the gold market.”