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Gold Futures Settle Higher For 3rd Straight Session

Gold prices edged higher on Thursday, extending gains to a third straight session, amid rising hopes the U.S. Federal Reserve will cut interest rate after recent soft inflation data.

Worries about geopolitical tensions and uncertainty about the U.S. and China agreeing on a trade deal anytime in the near future and the dollar's subdued display contributed as well to the yellow metal's uptick.

The dollar rose to after earlier weakness but retreated and gave up gains subsequently.

The dollar index, which advanced to 97.08 from an early low of 96.87, was last seen hovering around its previous close of 97.00.

Gold futures for August ended up $6.90, or about 0.5%, at $1,343.70 an ounce.

Silver futures for July ended up $0.139, at $14.892 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled with a gain of $0.0025, at $2.6565 per pound.

The U.S. Federal Reserve is scheduled to meet on June 18 and 19 in Washington. However, a rate cut looks more likely only in July or later. CME's FedWatch tool sees a 20% chance of a reduction next week.

Worries about the U.S.-China trade war remain. U.S. President Trump said recently that if Chinese President Xi Jinping doesn't meet with him at the Group of 20 summit, tariffs may be slapped on a further $300 billion in Chinese exports.

In economic news today, data from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly showed a modest increase in the week ended June 8th, inching up to 222,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level of 219,000

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 216,000 from the 218,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Another report from the Labor Department showed import prices fell by 0.3% in May following a revised 0.1% uptick in April. Economists had expected imports prices to dip by 0.2%.

Additionally, the report said export prices edged down by 0.2% in May after inching up by a revised 0.1% in April. Export prices had been expected to slip by 0.1%.

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