Gold Prices Outlook
Gold prices are set to drop next week. Reuters

Gold prices are set to drop next week with the precious metal expected to log further losses following this week's selloff.

As many as 12 of 21 analysts polled in a Kitco Gold Survey said they expected gold prices to drop next week, while seven predicted that prices would rise and two forecast prices to remain unchanged.

The Ukraine crisis and economic data due from the US and China, the world's top two economies, are to influence bullion prices next week.

Traders will be tracking durable goods and new home sales figures from the US next week, alongside HSBC's April flash Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data from China.

Daniel Pavilonis, senior commodities broker with RJO Futures, said that after bullion's sharp break on 15 April, prices have consolidated.

However, "if we get more bad data out of China next week (that could weigh on gold). The only reason why we're holding up here is because of concerns about the Ukraine," Pavilonis added.

Robin Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale, said: "I think the downward trend will continue into next week. I say that because the US data clearly is on an upward trend."

Ken Morrison, editor of online newsletter Morrison on the Markets, said: "April 15 has not been kind to gold each of the past two years. This year didn't produce a record volume day or a $140 decline as was the case in 2013, but it probably has put the nail in the coffin for gold's upside potential. I expect gold breaks the $1,280/75 support in the week ahead and appears poised for an eventual re-test of the $1,200 area."

Gold Ends Lower

Gold prices ended lower on 17 April, and finished lower for the week as a whole.

A stronger US dollar and accommodative US Federal Reserve monetary policy offset worries about the potency of Chinese demand, the leading gold consumer, and sales from gold-backed funds.

US gold futures for delivery in June finished 0.7% lower at $1,293.90 an ounce on 17 April.

Prices dropped 1.9% for the week.

Spot gold shed 0.6% to $1,294 an ounce.

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded fund, fell 8.39 tons to 798.43 tons on 16, the biggest daily depletion since late December 2013.