Investing.com – Gold prices remained close to session highs shrugging off a rise in the dollar on signs of an improving U.S. economy.
Gold futures for December delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $8.53, or 0.66%, to $1,297.42. a troy ounce.
Gold prices stopped just shy of hitting $1,300 after the dollar found support on the back of a pair of reports pointing to underlying strength in the U.S. economy.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday that initial jobless claims fell 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 258,000 for the week ended Oct. 7, beating forecasts of a 7,000 decline.
In a separate report, the U.S. Department of Labor said its producer price index for final demand increased 0.4% in September. In the 12 months through September, the PPI rose 2.2% after rising 2% in August.
The bullish wholesale data comes ahead of U.S. retail inflation data - measured by the consumer price index - slated for Friday.
Gold is sensitive to moves higher in U.S. rates, which lift the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding assets such as bullion.
Gold prices look set to snap a four-day losing streak as the Federal Reserve minutes released Wednesday from its September meeting showed Fed members were divided over the path of inflation.
The minutes showed that some Fed members had urged the central bank to delay hiking interest rates until the trend of slowing inflation subsided. The division among Fed members over the path of inflation led some analysts to question the likelihood of tighter monetary policy in 2018.
“The divide of the opinion among the Fed tells us that the path of the rate hike for 2018 will not be the same as this year,” said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets.
In Europe, meanwhile, political uncertainty supported demand for safe-haven gold after Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy gave the Catalan government eight days to abandon its independence bid.
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