Gold futures rebounded to snap a three-day losing streak and settle higher Thursday, on some encouraging economic data from the U.S., higher commodity prices and reports that Europe will strive to keep Greece within the euro region. Oil prices moved up notwithstanding a slightly stronger dollar that continued to fluctuate.
In the U.S., new unemployment claims for the week ended May 19 declined, and was better than what economists expected. Another report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed durable goods orders edged up by 0.2 percent in April as compared to a decline in March.
Gold for June delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $9.10 or 0.6 percent to close at $1,557.50 an ounce Thursday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold traded at an intraday high of $1,577.70 an ounce and a low of $1,551.90 an ounce.
Gold ended losing $28.20 yesterday, to settle below $1,550 on a strong dollar and investor concerns over the eurozone crisis. There were speculations that Greece was preparing for an eurozone exit, while investors were skeptical over the outcome of the European Union summit meeting.
Earlier this morning, the U.S. dollar hovered around a two-year high versus the euro and around a two-month high against sterling. The buck, however, moved lower against the yen, while trading flat against the Swiss franc.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, was trading higher at 82.129 on Thursday, from 82.073 in North American trade late Wednesday. The dollar scaled a high of 82.36 intraday and a low of 81.84.
The euro traded lower against the dollar at $1.2553 on Thursday, as compared to $1.2582 late Wednesday. The euro scaled a high of $1.2620 intraday and a low of 1.2516.
In economic news, the U.S. Labor Department said new unemployment claims for the week ended May 19 came in at a seasonally adjusted level of 370,000, a slight decline from the previous week's revised level of 372,000. The previous week had initially showed new unemployment claims holding level at 370,000 from the week before. Nevertheless, economists anticipated a slight increase to 371,000.
A U.S. Commerce Department report showed durable goods orders edged up by 0.2 percent in April after tumbling by 3.7 percent in March. The steep drop reported for March reflected a revision from the 4.2 percent decrease reported previously. Excluding a 2.1 percent increase in orders for transportation equipment, durable goods orders fell by 0.6 percent in April compared to a 0.8 percent decrease in March.
From the eurozone, the German economy expanded 0.5 percent quarter-on-quarter in the first quarter as per a Federal Statistical Office report. Gross domestic product rose 0.5 percent from the prior quarter, when it fell 0.2 percent. Positive contributions came mainly from exports.
A report from the Markit Economics showed that eurozone private sector activity downturn worsened to a three-year low in May after the economy narrowly escaped a recession in the first quarter. The growth-engine of the 17-nation bloc Germany also returned to a negative zone. Intensifying the downturn, France's private sector shrunk at its fastest since April 2009. In the rest of the eurozone, the pace of contraction remained severe.
by RTT Staff Writer
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