Gold edged higher on Thursday and the dollar weakened as grim U.S. economic data released overnight and surging Covid-19 cases worldwide boosted the chances for further stimulus.
Spot gold rose 0.4 percent to $1,814.12 per ounce, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.3 percent at $1,811.75.
The dollar held steady near its lowest level in more than two years as investors reacted to a slew of data showing the first back-to-back rise in weekly U.S. jobless claims since July, an uptick in durable goods orders and a widening trade deficit.
Downward pressure on the U.S. dollar has been reinforced by the release of the latest FOMC minutes which signaled that the U.S. central bank is likely to strengthen its QE program at the next FOMC meeting in December.
According to the minutes, many Fed members favored enhanced bond-buying guidance fairly soon, but didn’t see a need for immediate adjustments.
Earlier today, Sweden’s central bank surprised markets with a bigger-than-expected expansion of its asset purchase program.
U.S. markets are closed today for Thanksgiving. With the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the country, Biden urged Americans to avoid large family gatherings and to wear protective masks and maintain social distancing.