Gold Futures Snap Four-day Losing Streak, Settle Modestly Higher

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Gold futures closed higher on Thursday, snapping a four-day losing streak, as 10-year Treasury yields retreated from near one-year peak hit a day earlier and the dollar too lost ground against peers.

The dollar index dropped to 90.56, losing more than 0.4%.

Gold futures for April ended up $2.20 or 0.1% at $1,775.00 an ounce.

Silver futures for March ended down $$0.240 or about 0.9% at $27.078 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.9010 per pound, losing about 2.37%.

In economic news, data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims came in well above economist estimates in the week ended February 13th, with claims rising from a significantly upwardly revised level.

The report said initial jobless claims edged up to 861,000, an increase of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 848,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 765,000 from the 793,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A report from the Commerce Department showed housing starts pulled back by much more than expected in the month of January, tumbling by 6% to an annual rate of 1.580 million from a revised December estimate of 1.680 million.

The Labor Department also released a report showing a bigger than expected jump in import prices, which may have added to recent inflation concerns. The report said import prices surged up by 1.4% in January after climbing by an upwardly revised 1% in December.

Economists had expected import prices to jump by 1% compared to the 0.9% advance originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said manufacturing activity in Philadelphia area saw continued growth in the month of February, although the pace of growth slowed from the previous month.

The Philly Fed said its diffusion index for current activity dipped to 23.1 in February from 26.5, but a positive reading still indicates growth in regional manufacturing activity. Economists had expected the index to drop to 20.0.

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