Investing.com - Gold prices rose earlier Thursday after disappointing U.S. jobless claims numbers reminded investors the Federal Reserve won't rush to tighten monetary policy, though sentiments that the U.S. economy continues to improve sparked profit taking afterwards, which flattened prices.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for December delivery traded at 1,314.90 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, up 0.03%, up from a session low of $1,310.20 and off a high of $1,320.60.
The December contract settled up 0.30% at $1,314.50 on Wednesday.
Futures were likely to find support at $1,306.00 a troy ounce, Wednesday's low, and resistance at $1,324.30, last Friday's high.
The U.S. Labor Department reported earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending Aug. 9 increased by 21,000 to 311,000 from the previous week's revised total of 290,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 5,000 to 295,000 last week.
The numbers softened the dollar by reminding investors the Federal Reserve won't rush to raise interest rates after it closes its monthly bond-buying program, which is seen taking place around October.
Gold often firms on talk of loose monetary policy due to the precious metal's appeal as a hedge to weaker paper currencies.
Fed Chair Janet Yellen has said monetary policy must address slackness in the labor market marked by soft wage growth and too many long-term unemployed and part-time workers.
Still, the dollar didn't plummet and gold gave back its gains after investors digested the data and concluded that longer-term analysis of weekly jobless claims reports and other labor-market indicators point to an improving U.S. economy.
Soothing words out of Moscow took back gold's gains as well.
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Russia would defend itself, though the country has no plans to engage in conflict with the rest of the world over Ukraine.
Gold has served as a safe-haven asset of choice for investors fleeing exposure to Ukraine and the Middle East.
Meanwhile, silver for September delivery was up 0.19% at $19.883 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery were down 0.73% at $3.089 a pound.
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