Gold futures settled lower on Friday, paring some recent gains, amid hopes for a diplomatic resolution to the Russia-Ukraine stand-off.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has reportedly agreed to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov later next week.
Russia announced a new drawdown of military forces from the Moscow-annexed Crimean peninsula, raising hopes for a diplomatic resolution.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said today that the G7 nations are ready for “a serious dialogue” with Russia on the Ukraine crisis.
A strong dollar weighed as well on gold prices. The dollar index climbed to 96.17, gaining nearly 0.4%, before paring some ground.
Gold futures for April ended down by $2.20 or about 0.1% at $1,899.80 an ounce. Gold futures gained about 3.1% in the week.
Silver futures for May ended higher by $0.116 at $24.038 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.5260 per pound, up $0.0025 from the previous close.
On the U.S. economic front, a report from the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales spiked 6.7% to an annual rate of 6.50 million in January after tumbling 3.8% to a revised rate of 6.09 million in December.
The substantial rebound surprised economists, who had expected existing home sales to slump by 1.3% to a rate of 6.10 million from the 6.18 million originally reported for the previous month.
With the unexpected jump, existing home sales reached their highest annual rate since hitting 6.65 million in January of 2021.
Meanwhile, a separate report released by the Conference Board showed an unexpected pullback by its reading on leading U.S. economic indicators.
The Conference Board said its leading economic index fell by 0.3% in January after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.7% in December. Economists had expected the index to rise by 0.3% in December compared to the 0.8% increase originally reported for the previous month.
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