Crude futures notched a second consecutive loss today, as oil prices fell after a pair of lackluster economic reports. Specifically, the government noted a sharp decrease in durable goods orders, while home prices fell near a nine-year low. These lackluster reports raised concerns that oil's recent rally to multi-month highs was overdone, prompting many traders to take some profits off the table. As a result, April-dated oil swallowed a loss of $2.01, or 1.9%, to finish at $106.55 per barrel.
Meanwhile, gold futures rallied today, ending a two-day losing streak. A softer U.S. dollar supported the precious metal, as the euro gained ground in anticipation of Wednesday's long-term refinancing operation (LTRO) by the European Central Bank (ECB). By the close, gold for April delivery climbed by $13.50, or 0.8%, to end at $1,788.40 an ounce -- its highest settlement since November.
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