Gold futures ended higher for a second straight day Wednesday, as investor appetite for riskier assets improved after some positive economic data from the U.S. earlier in the week and as well supported by a weak dollar. Nevertheless, the gains were somewhat limited after data from the World Gold Council showed demand for gold declined in the second quarter as investment and jewelery requirement softened in India and China.
The World Gold Council in its report said demand for the precious metal in the second quarter fell 7 percent to 990 tonnes from a year ago. The decline was in part due to the comparison with exceptional demand last year, while reflecting the challenging global economic climate.
Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained $12.60 or 0.8 percent to close at $1,619.20 an ounce Thursday on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Gold for December delivery traded at an intraday high of $1,622.00 and a low of $1,603.00 an ounce.
Gold snapped its two-session losing streak yesterday to end higher on some mixed economic data from the U.S., notwithstanding a strong dollar.
The euro traded higher against the dollar at $1.2368 on Thursday, as compared to $1.2289 late Wednesday in North America. The euro scaled a high of $1.2370 intraday and a low of $1.2256.
The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, traded at 82.40 on Thursday, down from from 82.68 in North American trade late Wednesday. The dollar scaled a high of 82.88 intraday and a low of 82.34.
In economic news, a report from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims to have crept up to 366,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 364,000. Economists expected an increase in jobless claims to 365,000 from the 361,000 originally reported for the previous week.
The U.S. Commerce Department said new privately-owned housing starts came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 746,000 in July, a 1.1 percent drop from June levels. Most economists had predicted a drop in housing starts from the rebound in June. However, new building permits jumped significantly in July, rising 6.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 812,000 - the highest level since August 2008.
Eurozone annual inflation for July remained stable at 2.4 percent, final data from Eurostat showed Thursday. The rate was also in line with flash estimates. On a monthly basis, consumer prices were down 0.5 percent in July. The central bank aims to retain inflation rates below, but close to, 2 percent over the medium term.
From Europe, the Office for National Statistics showed U.K. retail sales grew 0.3 percent in July from a month ago. Economists had forecast a slight 0.1 percent drop after rising 0.8 percent in June. On a yearly basis, sales volume advanced 2.8 percent year-on-year. The increase was better than the 2.6 percent growth logged in June and the consensus forecast of 1.4 percent.
by RTT Staff Writer
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