Gold Ends Higher On Global Cues
Washington (Sept 25) ) Gold futures ended higher on Thursday, tracking some largely declining global equity markets on a couple of soft economic data out of the US, even as the dollar trended higher.
In economic news, initial claims for unemployment benefits in the US showed a modest rebound last week, after having reported first-time claims in the earlier week at a near fourteen-year low.
Reflecting volatility in commercial aircraft orders, a US Commerce Department report on Thursday showed a sharp pullback in orders for manufactured durable goods in August following the substantial increase seen in July.
Recent strong economic data from the US including reports showing a bigger than expected jump in new home sales and a notable improvement in manufacturing activity have raised speculation that the Federal Reserve may hike rates sooner than earlier thought.
Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, gained USD2.40 or 0.2% to settle at USD1,221.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday.
Gold for December delivery scaled an intraday high of USD1,224.80 and a low of USD1,206.60 an ounce.
On Wednesday, gold futures ended lower on a strong dollar with some upbeat US new home sales data dragging down the precious metal.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust , the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, remained unchanged at 773.45 tons from its previous close of 774.65 tons.
The dollar index, which tracks the US unit against six major currencies, traded at 85.24 on Thursday, up from its previous close of 84.06 late Wednesday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 85.49 intraday and a low of 85.05.
The euro trended lower against the dollar at USD1.2747 on Thursday, as compared to its previous close of USD1.2780 late Wednesday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of USD1.2783 intraday and a low of USD1.2698 .
In economic news from the US, a Labor Department report showed jobless claims to have climbed less than expected to 293,000 in the week ended September 20 , an increase of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level of 281,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 300,000.
A Commerce Department report showed orders for durable goods in the US declined by a record 18.2% in August, after posting a sharp 22.5% increase in the preceding month. Economists expected orders to drop by about 18.0%. Excluding transportation sector, orders were up 0.7% in August.
Adjusted for seasonal influences, the Markit Flash US Services PMI Business Activity Index dropped to 58.5 in September from 59.5 in August. Economists expected a reading of 59.2 for September.
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday that Euro area economy is likely to expand in the second half of this year even though the recovery seems to have lost momentum recently.
Meanwhile, the Asian Development Bank maintained its growth outlook for Developing Asia as key nations move ahead with structural reforms. China is forecast to grow 7.5% in 2014 and 7.4% in 2015, unchanged from the estimates published in April. The ADB maintained the 5.5% growth forecast for India in 2014 but raised its 2015 outlook by 0.3 percentage points to 6.3%.