Gold futures settled higher on Thursday as rising tensions in the Middle East lifted the yellow metal’s safe-haven appeal.
However, gold’s uptick was just modest due to a stronger dollar and a surge in Treasury yields.
The dollar index climbed to 106.8 around early afternoon, and is currently at 106.67, up 0.13% from Wednesday’s closing level.
Gold futures for December ended up $2.50 at $1,997.40 an ounce.
Silver futures for December ended lower by $0.099 at $22.908 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $3.5845 per pound, down $0.0065 from the previous close.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli army is prepared for the ground assault in Gaza, denting demand for riskier assets and increasing the appeal of safe-haven gold.
Meanwhile, reflecting concerns the Gaza war may spread, the Wall Street Journal reported that Israel had agreed to delay invading Gaza until U.S. air defense systems can be placed in the region.
On the economic front, data from the Commerce Department showed U.S. GDP spiked by 4.9% in the third quarter after jumping by 2.1% in the second quarter. Economists had expected GDP to surge by 4.2%.
The stronger than expected GDP growth partly reflected a surge in consumer spending, which soared by 4% in the third quarter after climbing by 0.8% in the second quarter.
The resilience of the U.S. economy has added to recent concerns about the Federal Reserve leaving interest rates higher for longer than investors had hoped.
The Commerce Department also released a report showing new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods spiked by much more than expected in the month of September, soaring by 4.7%, following a revised 0.1% dip in August. Economists had expected durable goods orders to jump by 1.5% compared to the 0.1% uptick that had been reported for the previous month.
Data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims rose to 210,000 in the week ended October 21st, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 200,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 208,000 from the 198,000 originally reported for the previous month.
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