By Rachel Koning Beals
Gold futures pulled back from two-year highs Thursday, slipping after largely upbeat U.S. economic data triggered some uncertainty around U.S. interest-rate expectations.
That move comes one day after gold extended its rally when dovish Federal Reserve policy meeting minutes further dashed expectations for an interest-rate hike this year. Precious metals tend to draw buying in a low-rate climate. Rising rates make non-yielding gold less attractive to investors who will chase higher yields elsewhere.
August gold GCQ6, -0.89% slipped $1.90, or 0.1%, to $1,365.20 an ounce. Gold futures settled Wednesday at $1,367.10 an ounce, the highest since March 2014, according to FactSet data.
Payment processor ADP reported a pick up in June private-sector hiring. And, the latest tally of jobless benefits claims fell to a three-month low of 254,000. The two reports have earned extra attention ahead of Friday’s look at monthly employment after two months of slowing hiring.
The ADP report “sets up well for Friday’s employment report and suggests a gain of at least 200K,” economists at Action Economics said in reaction.
In the wake of the data, the U.S. dollar index DXY, +0.03% , which measures the greenback against a handful of major currencies, edged up to 96.12. It has largely resumed its inverse relationship to gold, a bond broken in the immediate wake of the U.K. referendum to leave the European Union, when currencies were especially volatile.