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Gold Settles Sharply Lower As Dollar, Equities Firm Up

Gold prices tumbled on Thursday as rising optimism about a partial U.S.-China trade agreement prompted investors to seek riskier assets.

As bond yields and equities rose, gold prices declined to a three-month low.

The dollar's smart rise weighed as well on the yellow metal. The dollar index rose to 98.23 and was last seen hovering at 98.16, up 0.21% from previous close.

Gold futures for December ended down $26.70, or about 1.8%, at $1,466.40 an ounce, the lowest settlement since August 2, 2019.

On Wednesday, gold futures ended up $9.40, or 0.6%, at $1,493.10 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended down $0.598, at $17.010 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $2.7275 per pound, gaining $0.0625 for the session.

In trade news, China and the United States reportedly agreed to cancel tariffs on each other's goods for both sides to reach a "phase one" trade deal.

"The trade war started with tariffs and should end with the cancellation of tariffs," said ministry spokesman Gao Feng, who noted phase one of a trade deal must include both countries simultaneously canceling tariffs on each other's goods.

"Both sides have agreed to cancel additional tariffs in different phases, as both sides make progress in their negotiations," Gao added without providing a timetable.

In economic news, a report from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits fell by more than expected in the week ended November 2nd, declining to 211,000, from the previous week's revised level of 219,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 215,000 from the 218,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up 215,250, an increase of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 215,000.

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