Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended unchanged Wednesday, after posting modest climbs over the past two sessions, as investors looked ahead to Thursday's monetary policy decisions by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England.
The most active gold contract for April delivery settled at 1, 574.9 U.S. dollars per ounce.
Gold market saw better-than-expected U.S. private-sector employment data and a drop in factory orders on Wednesday, and awaited Thursday's decisions on monetary policy from the central banks in Europe and England as well as official U.S. non-farm payrolls report Friday. Market analysts said gold seemed to be in a period of consolidation.
Data from Automatic Data Processing Inc. showed that U.S. private-sector jobs rose by 198,000 in February, more than the expectation of economists. Factory orders in January, meanwhile, fell 2 percent, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Looking ahead, the gold market awaits the Bank of England meeting, and perhaps is anticipating more stimulus, which would typically be bullish for gold prices. Stimulus is typically tied to inflation and gold is seen as a hedge against inflation.
Given that backdrop, silver for May delivery rose 19.9 cents, or 0.7 percent, to close at 28.803 dollars per ounce.