Gold for June delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was dipping $3.30 to $1,306 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,314.30 and as low as $1,304.40 an ounce, while the spot price was slipping $2.80, or 0.21%.
Germany's foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, warned Tuesday morning that Ukraine was "close to war," according to reports. The news, which is adding support to gold as a safe-haven purchase, came before the U.S. trade deficit in March narrowed by 3.6% to $40.4 billion, the Commerce Department reported.
"Any news that comes out of the Ukraine scares the shorts out; so, fundamentally with all the economic data there's a lot of pressure on [gold]," Tom Vitiello, principal at Aurum Options Strategies, said in an interview.
Physical gold purchases declined in April from March as investors bought smaller amounts of the yellow metal to add to their portfolios. BullionVault's gold investor index hit 52.8, a signal that the market has more buyers than sellers, for the month. BullionVault is an online service to buy and sell gold and silver.
"We're definitely seeing more buyers, but they're buying smaller amounts," Miguel Perez-Santalla, vice president of BullionVault, said in a phone interview from New York. "I've lived through this before; this could last maybe a couple years -- this could go on a long time," Perez-Santalla said of gold's trading range since the metal's collapse in April 2013.