Gold futures ended lower Thursday, as the dollar gained against the euro on speculation a sinking European economy may lead to a cut in borrowing costs.
Gold for June delivery fell $5.70 to end at $931.80 an ounce on the Comex division on the New York Mercantile Exchange. The price has climbed 11 percent this year. On March 17, gold reached $1,033.90 an ounce, the highest ever, as the euro set a previous record.
The euro dropped as much as 0.7 percent against the dollar after the European Central Bank kept interest rate's steady at 4 percent today. The move hinted that growth is reasonable in the 15 nations that share the euro currency.
The ECB has kept rates unchanged since June, which helped boost the euro to a record $1.5913. The Bank of England today lowered its benchmark rate to 5 percent, making it the third cut since December. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve has cut rates by 3 percentage points to 2.25 percent since September.
Both central banks in the U.S. and U.K. slashed rates after the housing slump and credit-market crises threaten to drive the economies into a recession.
The dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of currencies, was at 72.170, up from 71.878 Wednesday.
In economic news today, the Commerce Department reported that the nation's trade deficit increased 5.7 percent in February to $62.3 billion.
The Labor Department said that initial jobless claims for the week ended April 5 fell to 357,000, dropping by 53,000, but the four-week average of those claims rose 2,500 to 378,250, make it the highest level since October 2005.
In energy, crude-oil futures dropped over 1 percent, edging back after a strong rally in the previous session.
Also on the Nymex, Silver futures for May delivery dropped 15.7 cents, or 0.9 percent, to $18.043 an ounce. The metal has gained 21 percent this year.
May silver futures fell 16 cents to end at $18.04 an ounce, July platinum futures closed down 40 cents at $2,045 an ounce.
June palladium fell $5.55 to end at $468.75 an ounce and May copper futures dropped 8 cents to $3.92 a pound.
Gold mining companies on the New York Stock Exchange were mostly down. Barrick Gold Corp fell 8.4 percent, Goldcorp Inc lost 1.3 percent while Newmont Mining Corporation dropped 0.6 percent on the New York Stock Exchange. Royal Gold advanced 1.1 percent.