Gold futures settled higher Thursday, recouping some of the recent losses that pushed prices to their lowest level of the month, as downbeat U.S. economic data pressured the dollar and raised prospects for investment demand.
Gold for June delivery on Comex GCM5, +0.82% rose $7.40, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,194.30 an ounce after finishing Wednesday at their lowest level since March. May silver SIK5, +0.47% added 3.3 cents, or 0.2%, to $15.829 an ounce.
On Thursday, weekly jobless claims data showed a higher-than-expected bump in unemployment while March new home sales tumbled 11.4%. The flash reading of the Markit manufacturing purchasing managers index fell in April to 54.2 from 55.7 in March.
Against that backdrop, the U.S. dollar dropped DXY, -0.87% providing support for many dollar-denominated commodities and drawing investors to the perceived safety of gold.
While Asian demand seems to be easing following a holiday in India, “we’re seeing strong buying, especially by European investors using BullionVault,” said Adrian Ash, head of research at the online investment gold service.
Ash said BullionVault users have expanded their gold holdings by 790 kilograms over the last three months—the heaviest addition to client gold holdings since the three months from December 2012 to February 2013—and the total is at a record above 33.5 metric tons.
Looking ahead, “growing tensions off the coast of Yemen and the still unresolved Greek debt repayment issue will continue to provide underlying support,” said Peter Hug, global trading director at Kitco Metals.
Traders will also be looking at the outcome of the Federal Open Market Committee meeting on April 28-29.
In other metals trade Thursday, July platinum PLN5, +0.90% rose $7, or 0.6%, to $1,136.70 an ounce, while June palladium PAM5, +2.12% rose $14, or 1.9%, to $769.90 an ounce.
May copper HGK5, +1.11% rose 2.9 cents, or 1.1%, to $2.694 a pound.