Gold falls as global banking worries ease

By Xu JingUnreguser

CHICAGO, March 16 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Thursday as global banking worries ease.

The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 8.30 U.S. dollars, or 0.43 percent, to close at 1,923 dollars per ounce.

The Swiss National Bank offered to lend 54 billion dollars to Credit Suisse. While fears about the banking system have eased, there are still concerns that the banking system crisis might resurface, market analysts hold.

Economic data released Thursday are mixed. The U.S. Labor Department reported that U.S. initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 192,000 for the week ending March 11. The figure is also lower than the 205,000 claims expected by economists.

The U.S. Labor Department also reported that U.S. seasonally adjusted producer price index for final demand decreased 0.1 percent in February.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported construction on new U.S. homes rose a seasonally adjusted 9.8 percent in February to 1.45 million.

The Philadelphia Fed's manufacturing gauge inched up to negative 23.2 in March from negative 24.3 in the prior month.

Silver for May delivery fell 19 cents, or 0.87 percent, to close at 21.692 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery rose 6.80 dollars, or 0.70 percent, to close at 977.10 dollars per ounce.

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