The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people applying for unemployment benefits last week dropped to the lowest level since February 2006, almost two years before the Great Recession started. In a separate report out Thursday, a gauge of manufacturing in China reached an 18-month high.
Better economic reports tend to drag down gold prices. An improving economy makes it more likely that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates next year, weakening the appeal of gold and other precious metals as investments.
Chinese gold bullion had the largest decline on Thursday, July 24, dropping 0.8 percent and landing at CNY 258.80 ($41.76) per gram. US gold bullion finished the day down 0.3 percent to $1,304 per ounce. Declining prices continue for Japanese gold bullion. It closed at JPY 4,258 ($41.94) per gram only after falling further, this time by 0.2 percent. After three straight days of no change, the price of Indian gold bullion decreased by 0.1 percent to INR 27,920 ($465.67) per 10 grams.
Following a couple days of improvement, the price of Chinese silver weakened by 0.7 percent. Prices closed at CNY 4,330 ($698.67) per kilogram. The price of Indian silver fell 0.5 percent to INR 45,615 ($760.81) per kilogram. Following two days of rising prices, the price of US silver dropped 0.3 percent to $20.91 per ounce. Japanese silver saw little change in its price yesterday at JPY 679.00 ($6.69) per 10 grams.
The price of Chinese platinum bar declined 0.6 percent to CNY 312.00 ($50.34) per gram. US platinum bar ended the day at $1,477 per ounce, after the 0.3 percent drop yesterday. Japanese platinum bar saw its price rise 0.3 percent to JPY 4,848 ($47.75) per gram.
Chinese palladium bar closed 0.5 percent lower at CNY 192.00 ($30.98) per gram. At $869.00 per ounce, US palladium bar fell 0.1 percent on Thursday. The price of Japanese palladium bar continues hovering around JPY 2,875 ($28.32) per gram for the fifth day in a row.