Forexpros - Gold futures rallied to a fresh record high on Thursday, topping USD1,827 an ounce after a flurry of disappointing U.S. economic data saw risk aversion sharpen, sparking a massive flight to safety.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for October delivery traded at USD1,825.85 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, soaring 1.92%.
It earlier rose as much as 2% to trade at USD1,827.85 a troy ounce, exceeding the previous high of USD1,815.65 a troy ounce it hit on August 11.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia said earlier that its manufacturing index plunged by 33.9 points to minus 30.7 in August, the lowest level since March 2009. Analysts had expected the index to increase to 3.9 in August from 3.2 in July.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Labor said earlier that the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 12 rose by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 408,000, higher than the expected increase of 400,000.
The previous week's figure was revised up to 399,000 from 395,000.
Also Thursday, the National Association of Realtors said that existing home sales declined by 3.5% to a seasonally adjusted 4.67 million units in July, an eight-month low, confounding expectations for a gain of 2.7% to 4.90 million units.
A separate report showed that the U.S. core consumer price inflation rose 0.2% in July, in line with market expectations, while consumer prices including food and energy costs rose 0.5% last month, above expectations for a 0.2% increase.
Meanwhile, the World Gold Council said in a report earlier that investment demand in India during the second quarter soared 78% to 108.5 metric tons, while jewelry demand increased 17% to 139.8 tons.
Gold investment demand in China jumped 44% to 53 tons in the second quarter, while jewelry demand rose 16% to 102.9 tons, the council said.
On Wednesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that he intended to move forward and repatriate as much as USD11 billion in gold reserves held in the U.S. and Europe in order to nationalize the country's gold holdings.
According to Chavez, Venezuela will transfer 99 tons of gold from the Bank of England to the country's central bank.
In addition, Venezuela holds gold at Wall Street firm JP Morgan Chase, U.K. lenders Barclays and Standard Chartered as well as Canada-based Bank of Nova Scotia.
Elsewhere on the Comex, silver for September rose 0.15% to trade at USD40.48 a troy ounce, while copper for September delivery tumbled 1.95% to trade USD3.963 a pound.