Gold futures settled lower on Thursday, extending their slide to a fourth straight session, as the dollar stayed firm amid expectations of aggressive policy tightening by the central bank.
The dollar index climbed to 104.55 this afternoon after having dropped to 104.20 earlier in the day.
Gold futures for August ended lower by $8.60 or about 0.5% at $1,829.80 an ounce.
Silver futures for July ended down by about $0.380 or 1.8% at $21.042 an ounce, while Copper futures for July shed about 5.2% at $3.739 per pound, the lowest settlement in about 16 months, amid rising fears over a possibility of a recession.
In his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee on Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell indicated the Fed plans to continue moving expeditiously to combat inflation but argued the U.S. economy is strong enough to handle tighter monetary policy.
However, Powell later acknowledged that achieving a “soft landing” will be “very challenging” due in part to factors outside of the Fed’s control and noted a recession is “certainly a possibility.”
In economic news today, data from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged slightly lower in the week ended June 18th, dropping to 229,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 231,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to slip to 227,000 from the 229,000 originally reported for the previous week.
A report from Markit Economics said that according to preliminary estimates, the S&P Global US Composite PMI fell to a five-month low of 51.2 in June 2022 from 53.6 in May.
The S&P Global Flash US Manufacturing PMI fell to 52.4 in June 2022 from 57.0 in May, and below forecasts of 56.0. The S&P Global US Services PMI fell to 51.6 in June of 2022 from 53.4 in May, the lowest in five months and well below forecasts of 53.5.
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