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Gold hits session lows after U.S. jobless claims fall below 300,000

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Investing.com -

Investing.com - Gold futures extended losses to hit the lowest levels of the session on Thursday, after data showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more than expected, fuelling optimism over the strength of the labor market.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold for December delivery tumbled 1.32%, or $17.10, to trade at $1,278.00 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours.

Prices fell to a session low of $1,274.60 an ounce earlier, the weakest since June 18.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,266.50, the low from June 18 and resistance at $1,299.30, the high from August 20.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits decreased by 14,000 to 298,000 last week from the previous week's total of 312,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 12,000 to 300,000 last week.

Investors now looked ahead to the Federal Reserve's annual meeting of top central bankers and economists in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, due to begin later Thursday.

The spotlight will be on Fed Chair Janet Yellen, who will speak on Friday in her first appearance at Jackson Hole as head of the U.S. central bank.

Other speakers include European Central Bank President Mario Draghi and Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda.

A day earlier, gold futures shed 0.12%, or $1.50, to settle at $1,295.20 after the minutes of the Fed's latest meeting were seen as being more hawkish.

Minutes of the Fed's July meeting showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.

Other officials want to see further evidence of economic recovery before moving towards raising rates.

A day earlier, gold futures shed 0.12%, or $1.50, to settle at $1,295.20 after the minutes of the Federal Reserve's latest meeting were seen as being more hawkish.

Minutes of the Fed's July meeting showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.

Other officials want to see further evidence of economic recovery before moving towards raising rates.

Also on the Comex, silver for September delivery shed 0.63%, or 12.2 cents, to trade at $19.37 a troy ounce, the lowest since June 12.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper for September delivery declined 0.51%, or 1.6 cents, to trade at $3.161 a pound.

Copper declined after data showed that the preliminary reading of China's HSBC manufacturing index fell to a three-month low of 50.3 in August from 51.7 in July and well short of forecasts for 51.5.

The disappointing report sparked fresh fears over a slowdown in the world's largest copper consumer.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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