Gold Futures Settle Lower For 4th Straight Session

Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday, sliding for a fourth straight session, as rising expectations of sharp interest rate hikes weighed on the yellow metal.

Central bank chiefs have recently reaffirmed their resolve to bring down inflation despite threats to economic growth.

The dollar index, which rose to 105.44 in the European session, drifted lower subsequently and was last seen hovering around 104.65, down 0.4% from the previous close.

Gold futures for August ended lower by $10.20 or about 0.6% at $1,807.30 an ounce, the lowest close for the most active contract in over four months.

Silver futures for September ended down by $0.386 at $20.352 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $3.7100 per pound, down $0.0705 from the previous close.

A report from the Commerce Department showed personal spending edged up by 0.2% in May after climbing by a downwardly revised 0.6% in April. Economists had expected personal spending to increase by 0.5% compared to the 0.9% advance originally reported for the previous month.

Real personal spending, which excludes price changes, fell by 0.4% in May after rising by 0.3% in April.

A report released by the Labor Department said initial jobless claims slipped to 231,000 in the week ended June 25th, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 233,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 228,000 from the 229,000 originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, a report released by MNI Indicators showed growth in Chicago-area business activity slowed by more than expected in the month of June.

The report showed the Chicago business barometer slumped to 56.0 in June from 60.3 in May. While a reading above 50 still indicates growth, economists had expected the business barometer to dip to 58.0.

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