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On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, increased $2.30 to close at $1,590.70 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for May dipped 15 cents to finish at $28.81.
Both precious metals were relatively stable as jobless claims beat estimates. According to the Labor Department, the number of people filing claims for jobless benefits fell 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 332,000 for the week ended March 9. The four-week average declined to 346,750, its lowest level in five years.
Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson Icap LLC, tells Bloomberg, “This is better than we could have expected. We’re slowing the pace of layoffs, which is a good first step. Things appear to be improving.”
However, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback against a basket of six other fiat currencies, declined from 7-month highs to as low as 82.43.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 0.20 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) edged 0.15 percent lower. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) jumped 1.35 percent and 2.75 percent, respectively. Silver names such as First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) increased 0.30 percent and 0.80 percent, respectively.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS
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