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Gold futures settled lower on Tuesday, weighed down by a stronger dollar.

Traders also digested the congressional testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen about the health of the U.S. economy.

The dollar index rose to 92.30, gaining about 0.6%, riding on comments from Powell that economic recovery had progressed more quickly than expected and appeared to be strengthening.

Powell noted that the economic recovery is “far from complete,” however, and stressed the Fed will continue to provide the support that the economy needs for “as long as it takes.”

Gold futures for April ended down $13.00 or about 0.8% at $1,725.10 an ounce, the lowest settlement in more than a week.

Silver futures for May ended down $0.542 or 2.1% at $25.227 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.0795 per pound, down $0.0600 or 1.5% from previous close.

A report released by the Commerce Department today showed a nosedive by U.S. new home sales in the month of February. The report said new home sales plummeted by 18.2% to an annual rate of 775,000 in February after jumping by 3.2% to an upwardly revised rate of 948,000 in January.

Economists had expected new home sales to tumble by 5.2% to a rate of 875,000 from the 923,000 originally reported for the previous month.


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