Crude futures closed lower for a second straight session, tumbling on reports that the U.S. and U.K. are in talks to release strategic oil reserves. White House spokesman Jay Carney later denied that any formal agreement had been reached, but the speculation was more than enough to outshine today's upbeat economic data, pushing black gold to a one-month low of $103.78 in intraday action. By the time the dust settled, however, April-dated oil pared its loss to 32 cents, or 0.3%, to rest at $105.11 per barrel.
On the other hand, gold futures were able to put an end to their three day sell-off, as the dollar's recent rally fizzled out. Gold was also supported by bargain hunters, after the commodity slumped to an eight-week closing low in the previous session. By the close, gold for April delivery added $16.60, or 1%, to settle at $1,659.50 an ounce.
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