Gold fell to the lowest in almost two weeks as fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to loosen monetary policies.
Applications for jobless benefits dropped by 26,000 in the week ended July 7 to 350,000, the fewest since March 2008, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 372,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Yesterday, the minutes of the Fed’s June meeting showed policy makers considered the risk that increased stimulus might pose.
“Today’s data is further evidence that Fed won’t announce new measures any time soon,” Steve Scacalossi, a New York-based vice president at TD Securities Inc., said in an e-mail.
Gold futures for August delivery dropped 0.7 percent to settle at $1,565.30 an ounce at 1:53 p.m. on the Comex in New York, after slipping to $1,554.40, the lowest since June 29.
Bullion surged 70 percent from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 as the Fed kept borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of so-called quantitative easing.
Holdings in exchange-traded products backed by the precious metal fell 4.2 metric tons to 2,404.98 tons on July 10, the biggest decline since May 23, data tracked by Bloomberg showed.
“Physical demand remains lackluster, while ETF holdings have recently showed some signs of softening,” Credit Suisse Group AG’s private banking unit said in a report today.
Silver futures for September delivery climbed 0.5 percent to $27.161 an ounce on the Comex.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery fell 1.3 percent to $1,412.50 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery slipped 1.4 percent to $574.80 an ounce.
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