CHICAGO, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell Thursday on upbeat U.S. economic data.
The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 17.6 dollars, or 1.1 percent, to settle at 1,578.1 dollars per ounce.
Gold prices ended February with a loss of 5.1 percent, the fifth straight month of decline reported.
Upbeat economic data released Thursday dampened gold.
The U.S. Commerce Department reported that the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) grew at an annual rate of 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2012; the U.S. Department of Labor said that the initial jobless claims in the week ended February 23 dropped 22,000 to 344,000.
Meanwhile, the Chicago PMI, a measure of manufacturing industry in Chicago area rose to 56.8 in February from 55.6 in January, the highest level in the past 11 months.
In Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda, a supporter of monetary easing policies, has been nominated as governor of the Bank of Japan.
As a result, dollar gained against Japanese yen. And the dollar index, a measure of the greenback against a basket of major currencies, rose to 81.805.
Despite gold's drop for five straight months, market analysts don't think the weakness in gold prices will last long.
Silver for May delivery lost 55.3 cents, or 1.91 percent, to close at 28.432 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery fell 16.6 dollars, or 1.04 percent, to close at 1,583.5 dollars per ounce.
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