Gold Futures Settle Slightly Lower

Gold futures ended slightly lower on Thursday as fairly strong economic data and optimism about a recovery amid hopes for additional stimulus weighed on the commodity.

However, the downside was just marginal as the dollar exhibited weakness against most of its peers. The dollar index was down nearly 0.4% at 90.16, after falling to a low of 90.05 in late morning trades.

Gold futures for February ended down $0.60 at $1,865.90 an ounce, after easing to a low of $1,857.50 an ounce around mid-morning.

Silver futures for March ended higher by $0.088 at $25.854 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.6475 per pound, gaining $0.0060.

In U.S. economic news, the Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 900,000 in the week ended January 16th, a decrease of 26,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 926,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 910,000 from the 965,000 originally reported for the previous week.

On the stimulus front, U.S. President Joe Biden has revealed new details of his plan to tackle the pandemic, which includes providing more state and local funding to accelerate the vaccine rollout and using the Defense Production Act to increase production of personal protective equipment.

The European Central Bank today left its key interest rates and asset purchases unchanged, in line with expectations, and reaffirmed its willingness to adjust the policy tools when needed.

Risks surrounding the euro area growth outlook remain tilted to the downside but are now less pronounced, the European Central Bank President Christine Lagarde said.

Earlier in the day, the Bank of Japan left its monetary policy unchanged, raised growth projections and noted that risks to both economic activity and prices were skewed to the downside.

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