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Gold Futures Settle Lower For Third Straight Day

Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday, extending losses to a third straight day, as Treasury yields continued to move higher and data showed a drop in jobless claims, a surge in durable goods orders and stronger than expected GDP growth.

The dollar's weakness somewhat limited gold's downside. The dollar index, which dropped to 89.68, recovered subsequently, and after briefly moving past the flat line to 90.26, retreated to 90.10.

Gold futures for April ended down $22.50 or about 1.3% at $1,775.40 an ounce.

Silver futures for May ended lower by $0.243 or 0.9% at $27.685 an ounce, while Copper futures for May settled at $4.2635 per pound, down $0.0405 or 0.9% from the previous close.

The yields on ten-year notes and thirty-year bonds once again reached their highest levels in a year, putting pressure on gold.

In economic news, a report released by the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims tumbled to 730,000, in the week ended February 20th, a decrease of 111,000 from the previous week's revised level of 841,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 838,000 from the 861,000 originally reported for the previous week.

According to a report from the Commerce Department, new orders for U.S. manufactured durable goods spiked by much more than expected in the month of January, soaring 3.4% after jumping by an upwardly revised 1.2% in December.

Economists had expected durable goods orders to surge up by 1.1% compared to the 0.5% increase that had been reported for the previous month.

Revised data released by the Commerce Department showed U.S. gross domestic product jumped 4.1% in the fourth quarter, compared to previously reported 4.0% spike.

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