Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange ended lower on Friday, as strength in the dollar and surging U.S. equities lured investors away from the precious metal. The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 4.4 dollars, or 0.26 percent, to settle at 1,666.9 dollars per ounce. Gold futures, which had not closed below 1,670 dollars since Jan. 31, stayed in a tight trading range of less than 9 dollars on Friday. For the week, gold prices finished 0.2 percent lower. Market analysts noted that with the U.S. trade deficit shrinking, a positive sign for the economy, equities rallied and tail-risk commodities such as gold suffered. With the Standard & Poor\'s 500 index easily staying above 1,500, analysts believe that investors will continue to move into equities and away from gold and bonds. According to earlier reports, the monthly trade deficit for the United States fell almost 21 percent in December to its lowest level in two years. Meanwhile, silver for March delivery rose 3.8 cents, or 0.12 percent, to close at 31.441 dollars per ounce. For the week, the silver price was down 1.6 percent.