Forexpros - Gold futures extended gains on Thursday, climbing to a fresh record high for the third consecutive day as concerns that the U.S. economic recovery was stalling and lingering fears over sovereign debt contagion in the euro zone boosted demand for safe haven assets.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery traded at USD1,681.45 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, climbing 1%.
It earlier rose as much as 1.12% to trade at a record high of USD1,683.15 a troy ounce, eclipsing the previous high of USD1,674.15 a troy ounce it hit in the previous session.
Gold prices have climbed to record highs in ten of the past 17 sessions.
The U.S. Department of Labor said earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits last week eased down by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 400,000, confounding expectations for an increase to 406,000.
However, the previous week's figure was revised up to 401,000 from 398,000.
Meanwhile, concerns over the risk of sovereign debt contagion in the euro zone intensified earlier after Spain's Treasury auctioned EUR3.3 billion of bonds at higher interest rates than at an auction last month.
Following the auction, the yield on Spanish 10-year bonds approached the 7% mark that prompted peripheral euro zone nations, Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek bailouts.
Global financial service provider UBS raised its one-month gold price forecast to USD1,725 per ounce and lifted its three-month price estimate to USD1,850 an ounce, up 13.5% from a previous estimate.
In a report published earlier, the lender said that gold prices were expected to remain well-supported in the near-term, citing sovereign debt woes in the U.S. and Europe, slowing global growth and higher inflation in Asian markets.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September delivery edged 0.3% higher to trade at a 13-week high of USD41.91 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery tumbled 1.7% to trade at USD4.265 a pound.