Gold down sharply on stronger dollar

Chicago: Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell sharply Wednesday as the US dollar showed strength.

The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 24.60 US dollars, or 1.97 percent, to settle at 1,224.00 dollars per ounce, Xinhua reported.

It is the lowest settlement of gold futures since February 26, when it closed at 1,220.40 US dollar per ounce.

Gold was put under pressure as the US Dollar Index went up against most major currencies Wednesday as several Federal Reserve officials signaled an interest-rate hike as early as April.