Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Gold futures settled modestly lower on Thursday, extending losses from the previous session, as traders, awaiting U.S. non-farm payrolls data for the month of August, largely made cautious moves.

The jobs data, due Friday morning, is expected to provide clues about the Federal Reserve’s timelines for asset purchase tapering and interest rate hikes.

Gold prices edged lower today despite a weak dollar. The dollar index slid to 92.27, down by about 0.25% from the previous close.

Gold futures for December ended down by $4.50 or about 0.3% at $1,811.50 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended lower by $0.303 at $23.918 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.3040 per pound, gaining $0.0255.

Data released by the Labor Department this morning showed initial jobless claims in the U.S. dipped to 340,000 in the week ended August 28th, a decrease of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 354,000.

Economists had expected initial jobless claims to edge down to 345,000 from the 353,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the modest decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since hitting 256,000 in the week ended March 14, 2020.

In other U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department released a report showing the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $70.1 billion in July from a revised $73.2 billion in June. Economists had expected the trade deficit to narrow to $71.0 billion from the $75.7 billion originally reported for the previous month.

The narrower trade deficit came as the value of exports jumped by 1.3% to $212.8 billion, while the value of imports dipped by 0.2% to $282.9 billion.

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