Gold futures inched higher Thursday, with traders on the sidelines ahead of tomorrow’s January jobs report.
April gold settled at $1,347.90/oz, up $4.80, or 0.4%.
In a positive prelude to the government’s monthly data, a Labor Department report showed a slight drop in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended January 27th.
The report said initial jobless claims edged down to 230,000, a decrease of 1,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 231,000.
The Institute for Supply Management also released a report showing a slight slowdown in the pace of growth in manufacturing activity in the month of January.
The ISM said its purchasing managers index edged down to 59.1 in January from 59.3 in December, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth in the manufacturing sector.
Economists had expected the index to dip to 58.8.
Yesterday, a hawkish Federal Reserve statement cemented expectations for a U.S. rate cut in March.
The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com