Gold Ends A Tad Lower After Jobs Data

New York (Oct 2)   Gold futures ended a little lower Thursday, on some upbeat economic news from the U.S. with initial claims for unemployment benefits dropping more than expected last week, despite the dollar weakening against a select band of currencies.

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly decreased in the week ended September 27, a report from the Labor Department said Thursday. Investors now await further cues on the strength of recovery in the labor market with the non-farm payrolls data due Friday.

Meanwhile, the European Central Bank made no changes to interest rates as expected, at its monthly policy meeting. The central bank had reduced interest rates in a surprise move last month, as economic momentum in the euro area remained subdued.

Gold for December delivery, the most actively traded contract, slipped $0.40 to settle at $1,215.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange on Thursday.

Gold for December delivery scaled an intraday high of $1,224.00 and a low of $1,209.10 an ounce.

On Wednesday, gold ended higher on some soft economic data from the U.S. with an ISM report showing manufacturing activity to have slowed down more than expected in September, with investors turning to the precious metal as most global equity markets declined.

Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, edged down to 768.66 tons on Thursday from its previous close of 769.86 tons on Wednesday.

The dollar index, which tracks the U.S. unit against six major currencies, traded at 85.59 on Thursday, down from its previous close of 85.91 late Wednesday in North American trade. The dollar scaled a high of 85.90 intraday and a low of 85.50.

The euro trended higher against the dollar at $1.2678 on Thursday, as compared to its previous close of $1.2624 late Wednesday in North American trade. The euro scaled a high of $1.2690 intraday and a low of $1.2616.

In economic news from the U.S., a Labor Department report showed initial jobless claims to have declined to 287,000 in the week ended September 27, a decrease of 8,000 from the previous week's revised level of 295,000. Economists expected jobless claims at 297,000 from the 293,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A Commerce Department report earlier in the day showed factory orders to have pulled back by a more than expected 10.1 percent in August, after having jumped 10.5 percent in July. Economists expected orders to drop by about 9.3 percent.

The European Central Bank today left its refinancing rate at a record low of 0.05 percent and the deposit rate at - 0.20 percent, in line with expectations, after reducing them in a surprise move last month. The marginal lending rate too has been maintained at 0.30 percent.

Eurozone's producer prices declined in August at a faster rate than expected, a report from Eurostat showed Thursday. Producer prices dropped 1.4 percent year-over-year in August, more than the 1.2 percent fall predicted by economists. In July, producer prices had decreased at a revised 1.3 percent.

Source: RTTnews