Gold prices edged slightly lower overall on Thursday in largely lacklustre trading, with prices recovering later in the session from earlier lows.
Prices dipped as low as $2,020 an ounce in the early afternoon session but picked up again to trade at around $2,032 an ounce later in the afternoon. That compares with a high of $2,043 on Wednesday.
US Initial Jobless Claims figures came out on Thursday showing that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits in the US fell by 9,000 to 218,000 in the most recent week, a slightly lower number than the market’s expected 220,000.
Overall, gold has shown a slight downward bias through the week as a whole, albeit with prices finding solid support below the $2,020 an ounce mark.
The jobless figures were not enough to provide any convincing price momentum in either direction, with eyes on further upcoming data to gauge the chances of any changes in interest rate policy by the US Fed.
Lower interest rates eventually are likely to provide a tailwind for gold prices, although recent economic data has been too strong to allow the US Fed to cut rates in the short-term, according to a report released Wednesday by the World Gold Council: Gold Market Commentary: Inflation risks seep back in | World Gold Council.
Moreover, Red Sea tensions have started to impact freight costs, which could lead to more general supply chain pressures that have contributed to higher inflation in the past, it said. Persistent high inflation maintains pressure on central banks to keep interest rates higher, in turn putting downward pressure on precious metals prices.
Frank’s experience covering the commodities markets spans 22 years, with a particular specialism in metals, carbon and energy markets. He has worked as a senior editor for S&P Global Commodity Insights (formerly Platts) and before this, at ICIS-LOR, a part of Reed Business Information (Reed Elsevier), where he covered the petrochemicals markets from 2003 to 2005.
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