WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Gold prices edged lower on Thursday as the dollar advanced and on fairly encouraging data on jobless claims, retail sales and Philadelphia region manufacturing activity.
The dollar index, which declined to 97.09 in early trades, rose to 97.36 by late morning and held firm since then. It was last seen at 97.33, up 0.1% from previous close.
Gold futures for February ended down $3.50, or about 0.2%, at $1,550.50 an ounce.
On Wednesday, gold futures for February ended up $9.40, or 0.6%, at $1,554.00 an ounce.
Silver futures for March ended down $0.049 at $17.939 an ounce, while Copper futures for March ended lower by $0.0190 at $2.8470 per pound.
A report from the Labor Department showed an unexpected decrease in initial jobless claims in the week ended January 11th. The report said initial jobless claims fell to 204,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 214,000. The drop came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to inch up to 216,000.
According to a report from the Commerce Department, retail sales in the U.S. climbed by 0.3% in December, matching the upwardly revised increase in November. Economists had expected retail sales to rise by 0.3% compared to the 0.2% uptick originally reported for the previous month.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve also released a report showing a substantial acceleration in the pace of growth in regional manufacturing activity in the month of January.
On the trade front, the U.S.-China phase one trade deal calls for China to purchase $200 billion worth of U.S. goods over the next two years, including up to $50 billion worth of agricultural products.
In exchange, the U.S. will scrap a new round of tariffs and cut tariffs on approximately $120 billion worth of Chinese goods in half to 7.5 percent.
Trump noted a 25 percent tariff on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports will remain in place in order to give the U.S. leverage as the two countries enter into phase two negotiations.
Copyright RTT News/dpa-AFX