Gold prices edged up marginally on Thursday, as the dollar lost ground against a basket of major currencies, ahead of the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy meeting next week.
It is widely expected that the Federal Reserve will certainly hike rates by a quarter of a point next week. The focus will really be on the central bank’s views on future hikes.
The dollar index dropped down to 93.41, the lowest in more than three months, before recovering some ground to trade around 93.55, still down nearly 0.6% from previous close.
Gold futures for December ended up $3.00, or about 0.30%, at $1,211.30 an ounce, the highest settlement price so far this month. On Wednesday, gold futures ended up $5.40, or about 0.5%, at $1,208.30 an ounce.
Silver futures for December settled at $14.305 an ounce, gaining $0.025 for the session.
Copper futures for December ended up $0.0105, at $2.7400 per pound.
The dollar’s decline was on the back of reports that the U.S. and Canada are unlikely to reach an agreement on NAFTA this week. The less than feared tariff on about $200 billion of Chinese goods into the U.S. also contributed to the greenback’s slide. The Trump administration had earlier threatened that it would impose a 25% tariff on these goods.
Data released by the Labor Department today showed initial jobless claims unexpectedly dipped to their lowest level in nearly fifty years in the week ended September 15th. The report said jobless claims edged down to 201,000, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 204,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 210,000.
A separate report from the Conference Board said its leading economic index rose by 0.4% in August after climbing by an upwardly revised 0.7% in July.
Meanwhile, the National Association of Realtors’ report showed existing home sales were unexpectedly flat in August, with sales growth in the Northeast and Midwest offset by downturns in the South and West.