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Gold Futures Settle Lower As Stocks Rise On Chinese Data

Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday, as traders chose riskier assets such as equities after data showed China's exports unexpectedly rose in the month of July despite the ongoing U.S.-China trade dispute.

Stocks were back in demand after the People's Bank of China set the onshore yuan's reference rate at 7.0039 against one dollar, the weakest point in over 11 years.

The dollar index, which moved in a tight band of about 15 points, was up 0.04% at 97.59 around mid afternoon.

Gold futures for December ended down $10.10, or about 0.7%, at $1,509.50 an ounce.

On Wednesday, gold futures for December settled at $1,519.60 an ounce, gaining $35.50, or about 2.4% for the session.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.260, at $16.936 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $2.6075 per pound, gaining $0.0365.

According to the data released by the Customs Office, China's exports rose 3.3% in the month, compared to forecasts for a 2% drop. On the other hand, imports fell 5.6%, less than the expected 8%.

In U.S. economic news, a report from the Labor Department said first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly showed a modest decrease in the week ended August 3rd.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 209,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 217,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 215,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 212,250, an increase of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 212,000.

A report released by the Commerce Department showed wholesale inventories were unchanged in the month of June.

The report said inventories of durable goods rose by 0.3% for the second straight month amid jumps in inventories of computer equipment and furniture.

On the other hand, inventories of non-durable goods fell by 0.4% in June after a 0.6% increase in May, partly reflecting a steep drop in inventories of drugs.

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