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Gold Futures Settle Notably Lower As Equities, Dollar Rise

Gold prices drifted notably lower on Thursday after riskier assets including equities moved up on upbeat U.S. economic data and fading worries about trade war.

The dollar's advance to a near 2-week high contributed as well to the yellow metal's decline.

The dollar index rose to 97.80, gaining over 0.25%.

Data from the Labor Department showed a bigger than expected drop in initial jobless claims and the report from the Commerce Department showed a substantial increase in housing starts.

Gold futures for June ended down $11.60, or 0.9%, at $1,286.20 an ounce.

On Wednesday, gold futures for June ended up $1.50, or about 0.1%, at $1,297.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for July ended down $0.273, at $14.539 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $2.7480 per pound, gaining $0.0050 for the session.

The Labor Department report said initial jobless claims slid to 212,000 in the week ended May 11th, a decrease of 16,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 228,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 220,000.

A separate report from the Commerce Department showed a substantial increase in new residential construction in the month of April.

The Commerce Department said housing starts surged up by 5.7% to an annual rate of 1.235 million in April after climbing by 1.7% to a revised rate of 1.168 million in March.

Building permits, an indicator of future housing demand, also rose by 0.6% to a rate of 1.296 million in April after edging down by 0.2% to a revised rate of 1.288 million in March.

The pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity saw a significant acceleration in May, according to a report from The Philadelphia Federal Reserve.

Worries about trade war subsided a bit after the U.S. decided to delay imposing tariffs on imports of cars from EU for six months.

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