CHICAGO, March 24 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose on Friday ahead of the U.S. congressional vote on the Trump healthcare bill.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 1.3 U.S. dollars, or 0.10 percent, to settle at 1,248.50 dollars per ounce.
Gold was given support on Friday with investors carefully monitoring the progress of a healthcare bill proposed by the Republican Party and supported by U.S. President Donald Trump.
Investors are concerned that if this bill fails to pass the lower chamber, it will be a sign that Trump's economic agenda of tax cuts and infrastructure spending will be much more difficult to achieve than expected. The vote was expected to begin later on Friday, after the market's close.
The precious metal was given further support as the U.S. Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 52 points, or 0.25 percent as of 1837 GMT. Analysts note that when equities post losses, the precious metal usually goes up, as investors are looking for a safe haven.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Dollar Index, a measure of the dollar against a basket of other major currencies, fell by 0.11 percent to 99.66 as of 1837 GMT. When the dollar goes down, gold futures will rise as gold, measured by the dollar, becomes cheaper for investors.
The precious metal was prevented from rising further as a report released by the U.S. Department of Commerce on Friday showed durable goods orders increasing by 1.7 percent during February, which was slightly stronger than expected.
Silver for May delivery added 15.5 cents, or 0.88 percent, to close at 17.748 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery rose 4.1 dollars, or 0.43 percent, to close at 967.90 dollars per ounce. Editem