Gold advanced for the seventh consecutive session on Thursday, fueled economic reports suggesting softer U.S. economic growth. The metal moved back above $1,300 an ounce for the first time since November.
The Labor Department said that first-time claims for unemployment benefits increased by 8,000 last week, hitting 339,000. That topped the 330,000 new claims economists had forecast. Meanwhile, the Commerce Department announced that January retail sales slipped a seasonally-adjusted 0.4% compared to December. Economists had expected retail sales to hold steady last month. Weaker economic growth could prompt the U.S. Federal Reserve to scale back the pace with which it trims its monthly stimulus.
Gold futures for April delivery added 0.4%, rising to $1,300.10 per ounce on Thursday, according to CME Group. Gold traded as high as $1,302.40 and as low as $1,286.20. Bullion closed in London at $1,303, according to BullionVault.
Silver futures for March delivery inched up 0.3% to $20.40 per ounce. Thursday’s high for silver was $20.47, while the low was $20.13.
Metal funds advanced on Thursday.
- The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) gained 0.9%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) moved up 0.8%.
- The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) climbed 1.7%.
Mining ETFs jumped during the day.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) rose 4.4%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) surged 6.1%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) added 5.1%.
Gold stocks mostly improved on Thursday.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) added 1.8%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) gained 5.9%.
- Eldorado Gold (EGO) jumped 5.3%.
- Goldcorp (GG) increased 3.6%.
- Kinross Gold (KGC) was flat.
- Newmont Mining (NEM) rose 4.5%.
- NovaGold Resources (NG) moved up 4.1%.
- Yamana Gold (AUY) climbed 3.2%.
Silver mining shares rose sharply during the day.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) advanced 4.7%.
- Hecla Mining (HL) increased 3.7%.
- Pan American Silver (PAAS) gained 5.3%.
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) added 4.3%.
- Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) climbed 5.7%.
As of this writing, Christopher Freeburn did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Adrian Ash of BullionVault contributed to this report.