A host of factors including positive economic data from the US, the S&P 500 Index registering an all-time high, and easing tensions between Russia and Ukraine, have pushed gold prices down to a 16-week low Gold prices have receded to a four-month low as positive news flows weaken ‘safe-haven’ demand for the lustrous metal. Global investor confidence seems to have strengthened considerably, and even yesterday’s poorer-than-expected report on US economic growth in the first quarter of 2014 failed to have an impact on spot gold prices, which are still hovering around $1,254. Economists had estimated that the US economy would contract 0.5% quarter-over-quarter in 1Q14, whereas the US GDP actually contracted 1% as severe weather cast a chill on economic activity in the first three months of the current year. US Data & Global Developments According to recently-released data, investors have cut their bullish positions in the precious metal for the second consecutive week, while short positions have more than doubled since mid-March. On Tuesday, the US consumer confidence index (CCI) rose to its second-highest level since 2008, which indicates that American citizens are growing increasingly optimistic about the economy and the labor market. The index climbed to 83 from 81.7 a month earlier, above economists’ mean estimate of 82.3. Data also revealed that orders for long-lasting durable goods had increased in the month of April, backed primarily by increased demand for military equipment. Bookings for durable goods increased 0.8% after a revised March advance of 3.6%.