RTTNews - Gold prices edged modestly higher on Tuesday and resumed its climb toward the key $1,000 an ounce mark. The metal has been trending higher since mid-April to reach a three-month high.

The precious metal's hedge appeal received a boost as the U.S. dollar continued to decline versus major rivals, extending multi-month lows against the euro and pound. Gold's gains were somewhat limited as crude oil failed to build on its recent rally.

August-stamped gold settled at 984.40, up $4.40. Prices touched as high as $988.30 earlier in the day and also dipped as low as $970.50.

Gold last hit above $1,000 in late February. The metal hit a record $1,033.90 in March 2008.

The dollar continued to plunge against its major European rivals, reaching a new five-month low against the euro and seven-month low versus the pound. Gold usually moves opposite the previous metal because of its hedge appeal.

A National Association of Realtors report showed that the pending home sales index rose 6.7 percent to 90.3 in April from a reading of 84.6 in March. Economists had been expecting a much more modest increase by the index of about 0.5 percent.

Crude oil prices finished a choppy trading basically flat, losing 3 cents to settle at $68.55 per barrel.

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