By Ira Iosebashvili
Gold prices fell Wednesday, as investors locked in recent gains on the metal ahead of key U.S. economic data later in the week.
Gold for April delivery was recently down 0.6% at $1,326.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Prices for gold, a popular destination for nervous investors, hit $1,342 a troy ounce Tuesday evening after economic adviser Gary Cohn's resignation from the White House stoked worries about the impact of steel and aluminum tariffs on global growth.
On Wednesday, however, investors turned their focus to Friday's U.S. unemployment data. A strong number would bolster the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates at a faster clip this year, weighing on gold, which struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates rise.
When it comes to gold, "event driven rallies usually have a backlash," said George Gero, a managing director at RBC Capital Markets. "They don't last long and tend to reverse quickly."
A stronger dollar also pressured gold, which is denominated in the U.S. currency and becomes more expensive to foreign investors when the dollar strengthens. The WSJ Dollar Index was recently up 0.1% to 83.56.
In base metals, copper fell 0.8% to $3.1340 a pound.
Write to Ira Iosebashvili at [email protected]