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Gold futures were lower on Wednesday, after climbing in the three previous days on the back of hopes for action by world central banks to stem the debt crisis in the euro zone and shore up economic growth.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery traded at USD1,607.75 a troy ounce during early European trade, down 0.18%.
Gold futures were likely to test support at USD1,601.80 a troy ounce, Monday’s low and resistance at USD1,618.33, Tuesday’s high.
Gold remained supported by expectations that the European Central Bank will soon take steps to help lower Spanish and Italian borrowing costs after the bank indicated last week that it may restart its bond buying program.
Overnight, ratings agency Standard and Poor’s revised the outlook for Greece to negative, from stable and warned that Athens was likely to miss the financial targets set by its international lenders, which would increase the likelihood of a default.
In the U.S., comments by Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren kept alive speculation over the possibility for more easing by the U.S. central bank.
Rosengren said the Fed should launch another round of quantitative easing of whatever size and duration was necessary to get the economy back on its feet.
The comments came after data last week showed that the U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly ticked up to 8.3% in July, from 8.2% the previous month.
Gold and the dollar trade inversely, and talk the Fed is considering easing can weaken the greenback and send the yellow metal higher.
Meanwhile, physical demand from India, the world’s largest gold consumer, looked likely to remain sluggish ahead of the festival season which begins this month and runs through until November, as a result of a weak rainy season.
Rainfall in India as a whole is 20% below the 50-year average and, with the monsoon season half over, India is facing the possibility of a full-blown drought in some regions.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September delivery dropped 0.76% to trade at USD27.868 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery fell 0.95% to USD3.407 a pound.