Materials weighed in Toronto on Tuesday as gold futures settled lower again, marking their third straight decline on a jump in U.S. durable goods orders, which helped the yellow metal lose its safe haven shine.
April gold lost $8.80, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,595.70 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, as data showed that orders for durable goods, items like cars and refrigerators, rose a bigger than expected 5.7% in February as commercial aircraft orders jumped 95.3%.
Prices also closed below $1,600 an ounce for the first time since March 15.
The decline in gold prices hurt producers of the yellow metal on Toronto's main index, which is heavily weighted toward commodities.
AuRico Gold led the materials sector's decliners, after the company reported late Monday a fourth quarter net loss of $134.4 million on account of a $127 million non-cash goodwill charge related to its El Chanate mine.
For the quarter that ended December 31, 2012, the Canadian gold miner reported a net loss from continuing operations of $134.42 million, or 48 cents per share, compared to net earnings of $23.03 million, or 9 cents per share, a year earlier. Adjusted net earnings were higher at $13.68 million, or 5 cents a share, in line with consensus estimates.
Revenue from mining operations were $63.12 million, up from $29.7 million a year earlier, as gold ounces produced rose to 41,145 from 18,080. Still, revenues fell short of analyst expectations for sales of $71.7 million.
Argonaut Gold Inc. (TSE:AR) lately fell flat after earlier edging up following its posting of fourth quarter earnings that well topped analyst expectations as it saw a rise in production and sold more gold ounces at a higher price, with lower cash costs.