(Updated from 10:33 a.m. with settlement prices and stock market close.)
NEW YORK (
were slightly lower Friday as major U.S. equity indices crept higher.
Gold for April delivery dipped $4.40 to $1,666.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
traded as high as $1,674.30 and as low as $1,665.80 an ounce, while the spot price was sliding $3.30, according to Kitco's gold index.
"I think we're at a good level of support, but with the equities moving higher I would not be surprised to see a little bit more selloff," said Phil Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures.
for March delivery rose 4 cents to close at $31.44 an ounce, while the
U.S. dollar index
shed 0.01% to $80.23.
The yellow metal traded in a
choppy range on Thursday
after remarks from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi elicited mixed reaction from investors.
Draghi warned on Thursday that the eurozone faced downside risks in 2013, but also made comments to try and push down the euro's recent strengthening. The euro slid Thursday against the U.S. dollar and continued its decline to $1.3366 on Friday, down from the prior day's close at $1.3397.
The yellow metal has traded in a tight range in recent weeks despite headwinds working against it, such as some
members wanting to end quantitative easing by the end of the year, or even well before it.
Ultimately, a trend among global central banks -- the Bank of Japan, the ECB, the Bank of England and the U.S. Fed -- to favor continued monetary stimulus has supported the yellow metal from a free fall.
Looking ahead to next week for gold prices, Kansas City Fed President Esther George is expected to speak on Tuesday about the economy, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is expected to address monetary policy in a speech on Wednesday, retail sales print Wednesday in a report that may indicate how consumers feel in the current environment and initial jobless claims are released Thursday.
Industrial production and the Empire State Manufacturing Survey come out next Friday.