By Barani Krishnan
Investing.com - Bullion and gold futures sank further beneath the $1,300 level Tuesday as investors returned to a risk-on mode after encouraging Wall Street earnings, upbeat Chinese economic data and improved consumer sentiment in Germany.
Spot gold, reflective of trades in bullion, was down $10.93, or 0.85%, at $1,277.00 per ounce by 4:47 PM ET (20:47 GMT).
Gold futures for June delivery, traded on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, settled the official session down $14.10, or 1%, at $1,277.20 per ounce.
"Demand for gold from traders is slowing again, with even ETFs losing ground after the strong economic numbers out of China and other centers," said George Gero, precious metals analyst at RBC Wealth Management in New York.
"With the holiday-shortened week due to Good Friday, it seems like a trading range will form below $1,275."
Various technicians see $1,275 as an important support for gold and think the yellow metal could possibly break below the next support of $1,250 if that first level is broken.
A stronger dollar also weighed on gold. The dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six currencies, rose by 0.1% to 96.863 after hovering near a three-week low of 96.365 in the previous session.
Gold could take a further knock in coming days if Chinese GDP numbers turn out to be better than expected.
First-quarter China growth is expected to have cooled to 6.3% year over year, the weakest pace in at least 27 years, according to economists surveyed by Investing.com. But a flurry of measures announced by Beijing in March to boost domestic demand may have put a floor under slowing activity.
Palladium slid for a fourth-straight day, while remaining as the world's priciest traded metal. Spot palladium was down $8, or 0.6%, at $1,355.75 an ounce.
Trades in other Comex metals as of 4:50 PM ET (20:50 GMT):
Palladium futures down $3, or 0.2%, at $1,331.70 per ounce.
Platinum futures down $8.40, or 0.9%, at $886.10 per ounce.
Silver futures down 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $14.95 per ounce.
Copper futures flat at $2.93 per pound.