Gold Futures Settle Lower For 3rd Straight Day

Gold futures settled lower on Thursday, losing for the third straight session, with investors assessing the monetary policy moves of central banks and the outlook for global economic growth.

The Bank of England raised its interest rate by 25 basis points today, as widely expected. In a three-way split, the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee decided to lift the bank rate to 5.25%, the highest since early 2008. This was the fourteenth consecutive rate hike.

A weak dollar helped limit gold’s downside. The dollar index, which climbed to 102.84 in the Asian session, dropped to 102.37 later in the day. It was last seen hovering around 102.50, down by about 0.1% from the previous close.

Gold futures for December ended lower by $6.20 at $1,968.80 an ounce.

Silver futures for September ended down $0.175 at $23.697 an ounce, while Copper futures for September settled at $3.8995 per pound, gaining $0.0560.

In U.S. economic news, a report released by the Labor Department showed a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended July 29th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims crept up to 227,000, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 221,000. The uptick in jobless claims matched economist estimates.

The Institute for Supply Management also released a report showing a modest slowdown in the pace of growth in U.S. service sector activity in the month of July.

The ISM said its services PMI slipped to 52.7 in July from 53.9 in June, although a reading above 50 still indicates growth. Economists had expected the index to edge down to 53.0.

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