Gold futures advanced for the third straight session as U.S. jobless claims rose more than forecast, tempering optimism on the labor market and spurring speculation that interest rates will remain low.
Jobless claims climbed by 21,000 to 311,000 in the week ended Aug. 9, the highest in six weeks, government data showed today. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 295,000.
This year, gold has gained 9.4 this year as conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine boosted demand for the metal as a haven. The price also advanced amid signs of an uneven recovery in the U.S economy.
“Concerns about the labor market are back,” Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said. “Also, safe-haven bids continue to come in because of the geopolitical developments.”
Gold futures for December delivery rose 0.1 percent to settle at $1,315.70 an ounce at 1:33 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price climbed as much as 0.6 percent. On Aug. 8, the metal reached $1,324.30, the highest since July 18.
Last year, gold tumbled 28 percent, the most in three decades, as U.S. equities rallied to a record and inflation remained muted amid speculation that the Federal Reserve would taper the pace of monetary stimulus.
Silver futures for September delivery rose 0.3 percent to close at $19.906 an ounce on the Comex.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, palladium futures for September delivery added 0.5 percent to $886.15 an ounce. The price climbed for the seventh straight session, the longest rally since July 8.
Platinum futures for October delivery fell less than 0.1 percent to $1,469.20 an ounce.
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