Investing.com - Gold futures edged higher in rangebound trade on Wednesday, but gains were limited as investors continued to weigh the need for further stimulus in the U.S. following the release of upbeat economic data on Tuesday.
Moves in the gold price this year have largely tracked shifting expectations as to whether the U.S. central bank would end its bond-buying program sooner-than-expected.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at USD1,386.55 a troy ounce during European morning hours, up 0.5% on the day.
Comex gold prices held in a tight USD10-range between USD1,379.65 a troy ounce, the daily low and a session high of USD1,389.65 a troy ounce.
Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,337.85 a troy ounce, the low from May 20 and resistance at USD1,413.05, the high from May 22.
Gold prices came under pressure on Tuesday after data showed that U.S. consumer confidence rose to the highest level since February 2008 in the current month.
The Conference Board said its index of consumer confidence rose to 76.2 in May from 69.0 in April and beating expectations for a reading of 71.0.
A separate report showed that the Case-Shiller U.S. home price index rose 10.9% in March from a year earlier, the biggest increase since April 2006.
The robust data boosted expectations that the Federal Reserve will wind down its USD85 billion-a-month asset purchase program later this year.
Comex gold fell to a 27-month low of USD1,322.25 an ounce on April 16.
Prices of the precious metal are still down almost 27% since hitting an all-time high of USD1,920.80 an ounce in September 2011, sparking fears that gold’s bull run is coming to an end.
Market analysts have warned the precious metal could see further declines.
On Tuesday, influential Wall Street banks JP Morgan and Bank of America Merrill Lynch cut their respective 2013 gold price forecasts.
JP Morgan cut its 2013 gold price outlook to USD1,595 a troy ounce, down from a previous estimate of USD1,745. In the short term, analysts at the bank expect gold prices to average USD1,450 a troy ounce in the second quarter, 18% lower than its previous forecast.
Bank of America expects gold prices to average USD1,478 an ounce in 2013, 12% below its prior forecast of USD1,680.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for July delivery eased up 0.1% to trade at USD22.21 a troy ounce, while copper for July delivery fell 0.8% to trade at USD3.288 a pound.