Gold prices edged lower on Thursday, extending previous session’s slide, as the dollar gained in strength against most major currencies after the Fed said on Wednesday that recent strong U.S. economic data support gradual rate hikes.
The Fed left rates unchanged on Wednesday, but the accompanying statement to its monetary policy hints at two rate hikes this year, one in September and the other in December, and a couple of hikes in 2019.
Gold futures for December, the most actively traded contract, ended down $7.50, or 0.6%, at $1,220.10 an ounce.
Silver futures for September were down $0.057, or 0.27%, at $15.395 an ounce, while Copper futures shed $0.007, or 0.27%, at $2.740 per pound.
The dollar index is up 0.45 or 0.48% at 94.91, after a report from the U.S. Labor Department showed a modest increase in initial jobless claims in the week ended July 28. The data said initial jobless claims rose to 218,000, an uptick of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 217,000. However, the increase was smaller than expected as economists had forecast jobless claims to rise to 220,000.
The closely watched monthly jobs data will be released by the Labor Department on Friday.
Meanwhile, worries about U.S.-China trade war have increased following reports about the Trump administration’s proposal to impose 25% tariffs on about $200 billion worth of Chinese goods into U.S., instead of levies of 10% proposed earlier, and comments from Chinese officials that China would retaliate in equal measure.