Gold futures settled higher on Thursday, gaining ground after recent losses, as the dollar drifted lower.
Despite some hawkish comments from a few Fed officials, and data showing a drop in U.S. jobless claims in the week ended January 14th, the dollar has lost ground against most of its major counterparts.
The dollar index dropped to 102.04 this afternoon, losing about 0.3%.
Gold futures for February ended higher by $16.90 or about 0.9% at $1,923.90 an ounce, the highest settlement since April 22.
Silver futures for March ended up $0.223 at $23.870 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $4.2315 per pound, down $0.0030 from the previous close.
In U.S. economic releases today, a report released by the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims fell to 190,000 in the week ended January 14th, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 205,000. The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 214,000.
Data released by the Commerce Department showed new residential construction in U.S. fell for the fourth straight month in December, although the decrease was much smaller than expected.
The report said housing starts slumped by 1.4 percent to an annual rate of 1.382 million in December after tumbling by 1.8% to a revised rate of 1.401 million in November. Economists had expected housing starts to plunge by 4.8% to an annual rate of 1.359 million from the 1.427 million originally reported for the previous month.
The Commerce Department said building permits also dove by 1.6% to an annual rate of 1.330 million in December after plummeting by 10.6% to a revised rate of 1.351 million in December. Economists expected building permits to jump by 2.1% in December.
Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia released a report showing regional manufacturing activity has contracted at a slower rate in the month of January.