London: Gold prices climbed back above $1,460 an ounce on Thursday and silver also rose after US data showing an unexpected jump in jobless claims last week knocked the dollar.
The precious metals came under pressure in earlier trade as speculation that some euro zone countries may be forced into debt restructuring weighed on the euro, but gold quickly rose back to session highs after the jobs numbers.
Spot gold was bid at $1,465.20 an ounce at 1355 GMT, against $1,454.61 late in New York on Wednesday. Silver was bid at $41.22 an ounce against $40.62, well off this week’s 31-year high at $41.93 an ounce.
Analysts are becoming concerned that the grey metal is becoming overbought at current levels, and may struggle to make significant headway from here.
“Silver needs to find support at $40 and gold around $1,450 in order to make additional headway,” said Saxo Bank senior manager Ole Hansen. “(We) still like gold over time, but increasingly worried about silver,” he said.
The dollar extended declines against the yen on Thursday, falling to a session low, after data showed initial US weekly jobless claims came in higher than expected.
The US Labor department said initial state jobless benefit claims rose to 412,000 in the latest week, from a revised 385,000 the prior week. Markets were expecting claims of 380,000.
Gold hit record highs above $1,476 an ounce earlier this week, supported by dollar weakness, unrest in the Middle East and North Africa, and the euro zone debt. But US monetary policy is expected to be the main driver of gold prices this year.
The dollar hit a 16-month low against a currency basket early on Thursday after Wednesday’s US data did nothing to change the view the central bank would keep its $600 billion asset buying programme in place until June.
Some analysts had suggested that if the economy were doing significantly better and inflation concerns picked up, the Fed could rein in its second round of quantitative easing before it completes at the end of June. Analysts say this is now unlikely.
Crude oil also swung higher, recovering earlier losses, after the jobless claims. Platinum was at $1,772.99 an ounce against $1,769.15, while palladium was at $761.97 against $760.63.