Gold futures little changed; U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving

  • Commodities News
Gold futures little changed; U.S. markets closed for Thanksgiving
Credit: © Reuters. - Gold prices were little changed on Thursday, as trading conditions remained thin with markets in the U.S. closed for the Thanksgiving Day holiday

Gold for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange inched up 70 cents, or 0.07%, to trade at $1,070.70 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours, not far from last week's six-year low of $1,062.00.

Trade volumes were expected to remain light on Thursday, with Comex floor trading scheduled to remain closed for Thanksgiving. An abbreviated session was slated for Friday.

On Wednesday, prices shed $3.80, or 0.35%, after upbeat U.S. economic data reinforced expectations for a Fed rate hike next month.

The U.S. Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that new home sales rose by 10.7% to 495,000 units last month.

The report came shortly after the U.S. Department of Labor said initial jobless claims declined by 12,000 last week to 260,000 . Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 2,000.

A separate report showed that durable goods orders jumped 3.0% in October, easily surpassing forecasts for 1.5%. Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, rose 0.5% , beating expectations for an increase of 0.3%.

Most Fed officials believe there is a strong case to begin raising interest rates next month, as long as U.S. economic data does not disappoint in the coming weeks.

Gold futures are down more than 6% so far in November amid expectations for a December liftoff in U.S. interest rates. Expectations of higher borrowing rates going forward is considered bearish for gold, as the precious metal struggles to compete with yield-bearing assets when rates are on the rise.

The U.S. dollar held near the highest level since April against a basket of six other major currencies, amid growing expectations for tighter monetary policy in the U.S. in the coming months. Dollar-priced commodities become more expensive to investors holding other currencies when the greenback gains.

Meanwhile, silver futures for December delivery tacked on 7.0 cents, or 0.49%, to trade at $14.22 a troy ounce. Prices hit a six-year low of $13.85 earlier this week.

Elsewhere in metals trading, copper surged on Thursday, along with other base metals such as nickel and zinc , as China regulators were said to consider a probe into metal short-selling in the local market.

Prices received another boost amid reports that Chinese smelters are planning a meeting to consider taking action against falling prices.

Copper is down more than 10% so far this month as expectations of higher interest rates in the U.S. and slower global economic growth, especially in China, weighed.

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