By Barbara Kollmeyer
Gold prices trekked higher Thursday as investors were emboldened by a Federal Reserve policy statement that they read as hinting at a central bank hesitant to raise rates too quickly.
Metals traders also digested a pair of mixed pair of reports on U.S. employment and trade.
Gold for December delivery GCZ6, +0.62% rose $15.70, or 1.2%, to $1,342.40 an ounce, setting it on track for the highest close since July 13.
Metals held on to their early gains even after jobless-claims data showed that the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by 14,000 to 266,000 but remained extremely low, reflecting a still-growing economy. Meanwhile, the advanced trade gap widened to a seasonally adjusted $63.3 billion from $61.1 billion in June.
The contract had also rallied in electronic trade on Wednesday to trade at $1,348.80 an ounce, up more than $14 from the day’s regular settlement price.
The spike late Wednesday was due to the fact many gold investors believe the Fed is dovish even if it left a September interest-rate increase on the table. To some traders that statement emphasized a reluctance to lift rates too quickly, in the wake of the U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union, which can be supportive for gold futures.