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Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Gold futures settled modestly lower on Thursday as riskier assets such as equities moved up amid easing worries about the U.S. debt limit and data showing a bigger than expected drop in U.S. jobless claims last week.

However, a slightly weaker dollar limited gold's decline. The dollar index stayed below the unchanged line since trading commenced on Thursday. The index dropped to a low of 94.08 but subsequently rose to 94.28.

Gold futures for December ended down by $2.60 or nearly 0.1% at $1,759.20 an ounce.

Silver futures for December ended higher by $0.126 or 0.6% at $22.658 an ounce, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.2435 per pound, gaining $0.0960 or about 2.3%.

The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury note edged up to 1.563%.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's assurance to increase natural gas exports to Europe to resolve the energy crisis lifted sentiment in stock markets, which in turn dimmed the demand for the yellow metal.

Putin said that Russia is prepared to stabilize global energy markets by sending more gas to Europe than it has contracted for this year.

Meanwhile, U.S. lawmakers reached an agreement to temporarily extend the debt limit, avoiding a potential default. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., announced an agreement to extend the debt ceiling through early December.

The agreement would reportedly increase the debt limit by $480 billion, allowing the Treasury to continuing paying its bills through December 3rd.

A report from the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 326,000, a decrease of 38,000 from the previous week's revised level of 364,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to dip to 348,000 from the 362,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The release of the weekly jobless claims report comes a day ahead of the release of the Labor Department's more closely watched monthly jobs report on Friday.

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