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Gold Extends Losses on Positive Economic News

March 29, 2018 at 14:55 by Andrew Moran

Gold futures are extending their losses on the final trading session of the week. After lodging its biggest one-session loss in more than a month, the yellow metal fell deeper into the red territory.

June gold futures slumped $3.20, or 0.24%, to $1,326.80 per ounce at 14:31 GMT on Thursday. On Wednesday, gold prices settled at their lowest levels in more than a week and suffered its largest one-day plunge in five weeks. The precious metal is poised for a tepid weekly loss of about 0.5%.

Silver, the sister commodity to gold, is flat to end the holiday-shortened trading week. May silver futures dipped $0.003, or 0.02%, to $16.25 an ounce. The white metal is on track for a weekly decline of 0.7%.

Year-to-date, gold has advanced 0.95%, while silver has plummeted 4.5%.

Precious metals were affected by a plethora of positive economic news on Thursday.

Weekly jobless claims tumbled to their lowest levels since 1973, dropping by 15,000 to 215,000, according to the Department of Labor. The consumer sentiment index climbed to 102.0 in February, the biggest jump since 2004, from 99.7 in January. Consumer spending rose 0.2%, while the personal savings rate advanced to 3.4% last month. Inflation rose modestly as the personal-consumption expenditures (PCE) index jumped 0.2%.

The economic data allowed the equities market to rally after the opening bell. With reports that US and Chinese officials are holding behind-the-scenes talks on trade, investor angst about a possible global trade war is subsiding.

This helped the US dollar post early momentum before paring its gains. The greenback shed 0.07%, tumbling to 89.98. A weaker buck is generally good for dollar-denominated commodities like gold and silver because it makes it cheaper for foreign investors to purchase.

Gold could not benefit from falling Treasuries as the 10-year note slipped 0.85%. Falling rates tend to help non-yielding assets like precious metals.

Other metals are mixed on Thursday. May copper futures surged $0.0295, or 0.98%, to $3.0315 per pound. May platinum futures shed $5.20, or 0.55%, to $935.60 an ounce. May palladium futures slid $4.25, or 0.44%, to $958.95 per ounce.

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