Updated from 11:12 a.m. EST with afternoon action and settlement prices
NEW YORK (
Gold for April delivery lost $2.90 to settle at $1,673.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
Gold prices initially moved higher after Bank of Japan Gov. Masaaki Shirakawa told reporters in Tokyo that he would step down on March 19, likely paving the way for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to push for even greater accommodative monetary policy.But the ISM Non-Manufacturing Index printed Tuesday at 55.2% for January, a signal of rising momentum for employment for the sixth straight month. Gold prices are closely tied to labor market trends as the Federal Reserve has pegged its low interest rates policy until the unemployment rate drops to 6.5%. Many analysts view the end of low interest rates as a suggestion that central bank quantitative easing would conclude, as well. The ISM announcement reversed earlier gains after the Bank of Japan news. Even before returning as the leader of Japan, Abe had argued for greater easing policies by the central bank. Abe's pressure on the central bank, at one point, had elicited criticism from Shirakawa who called for respect of the Bank of Japan's independence.
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