Gold prices are down $0.90 today (Friday) to a spot price of $1,322.10 an ounce and are down to finish the week after reaching $1,332.10 per ounce on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed nearly 41 points in early trading today.
Gold was higher this week – Tuesday's price was the highest for the precious metal since Oct. 31. Gold prices were up more than 4% last week alone – the largest weekly gain since August 2013.
Gold prices reached three-month highs in February due to soft economic data out of the United States. That had analysts speculating that the U.S. Federal Reserve might slow its tapering measures.
U.S. unemployment numbers reported on Thursday were stronger than many expected, lifting the U.S. dollar and bringing gold prices back down to where they are currently. According to the weekly jobless claims, fewer Americans filed for unemployment benefits.
Additionally, the research firm Markit reported that U.S. manufacturing activity posted its fastest growth rate since 2010.
"The news during the week has been mixed," Ole Hansen, head of commodity research at Saxo Bank told Reuters. "Traders who filled their boots on the break up are now getting a bit nervous. The risk into next week is that we may need to check the strength of support, as any additional buying from these levels would need an even."
Another factor pushing gold prices down from their Tuesday high was weak manufacturing data released from China. Factory activity in the country was at a seven-month low, prompting worry that the world's top gold consumer may be headed for an economic slowdown.
It was strong Chinese economic data coupled with U.S. economic concerns that pushed the price of gold higher in early February. When both of those trends reversed this week, gold prices pared back.
Even though gold prices have settled back down to end the week, there are still bullish indicators for gold in 2014…