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Gold Ends Marginally Lower

Gold prices edged down marginally on Thursday, with traders choosing to stay long with riskier assets after data showed initial jobless claims came in less than expected last week and producer price inflation stayed flat in July.

Data released by the Labor Department showed producer prices in U.S. unexpectedly came in unchanged in the month of July, after rising 0.3% in June. Economists had expected producer prices to increase by 0.2%.

Compared to the same month a year ago, producer prices in July were up by 3.3%, reflecting a modest slowdown from the 3.4% increase in June.

Another report from Labor Department showed first-time claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly edged lower in the week ended August 4th. The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 213,000, a decrease of 6,000 from the previous week's revised level of 219,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 220,000.

The dollar held gains against most major currencies. The dollar index was up 0.33 or 0.35% at 95.28.

Gold futures for December ended down $1.10, or about 0.1%, at $1,219.90 an ounce.

Gold futures ended at $1,221.00 an ounce on Wednesday, gaining $2.70, or 0.2%.

Silver futures for September were up $0.023, or 0.15%, at $15.455 an ounce. Copper futures were higher by $0.013, or 0.47%, at $2.764 per pound.

Meanwhile, markets are looking ahead to the outcome of trade talks between the United States and Japan later in the day.

Trade war concerns are rising by the day. On Wednesday, China slapped additional import tariffs of 25% on $16 billion worth of U.S. goods in retaliation for tariffs on China imposed by U.S. President Donald Trump.

Also on Wednesday, Washington said it would soon impose new sanctions on Russia after determining Moscow had used a nerve agent in the attack against a former Russian spy in Salisbury.

Another factor set to weight on global markets is the U.S.' move to impose new sanctions on Russia over the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal. The sanctions would take effect around August 22.

Saying that its too early for possible retaliatory sanctions to be discussed, Russia reiterated it was not involved in the poisoning of the former spy.

Following U.S.' decision to impose sanctions on Russia, the rouble sank to near two-year lows against the U.S. dollar today.

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