Gold futures are poised to decline as signs of increasing momentum in the U.S. labor market crimped demand for the precious metal as a haven.
Fewer Americans filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, sending the average over the past month to an eight-year low. Gold headed for the third drop in four days.
In July, gold fell 3 percent on concern that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates sooner than expected. The economy expanded at a 4 percent annualized rate last quarter, compared with a revised 2.1 percent drop in the first quarter, data showed on July 30. Russia placed import bans on an array of food goods from the U.S. and Europe, striking back at sanctions over the conflict in Ukraine.
“Good economic data will continue to put pressure on gold, even as it gets a temporary reprieve” from the Ukraine conflict, Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The long-term fundamentals are negative.”
Gold futures for December delivery declined 0.2 percent to $1,305.90 an ounce at 9:15 a.m. on the Comex in New York. Yesterday, the price reached a one-week high of $1,311 on escalating Ukraine tensions.
Jobless claims declined by 14,000 to 289,000 in the week ended Aug. 2 from 303,000 in the prior period, government data showed today. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 304,000.