Gold prices rose sharply on Thursday, extending gains to a third session, as the dollar weakened amid rising prospects for a fiscal stimulus in the U.S.
The dollar index slid to 89.73, down nearly 0.8% from previous close, amid positive developments on the stimulus front, with lawmakers signaling progress toward an agreement on a new relief package.
Gold futures for February ended stronger by $31.30 or about 1.7% at $1,890.40 an ounce, the highest closing level in about six weeks.
Silver futures for March ended up $1.129 at $26.181 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.6015 per pound, gaining $0.0425.
Following a meeting with other congressional leaders, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ken., said the talks have made “major headway toward hammering out a targeted pandemic relief package that would be able to pass both chambers with bipartisan majorities.”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., agreed that the two sides are “close to an agreement” but cautioned that it’s “not a done deal yet.”
Meanwhile, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Deputy Chief of Staff Drew Hammill said the Speaker, Schumer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke Wednesday night as part of a series of phone conversations to complete the relief negotiations.
Data from the Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to 885,000 in the week ended December 12, an increase of 23,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 862,000.
The continued increase surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to drop to 800,000 from the 853,000 originally reported for the previous week.
However, while the data has raised concerns about the outlook for the labor market, it could also put further pressure on lawmakers to reach an agreement on a stimulus bill.
The Federal Reserve said Wednesday that it will keep pouring cash into financial markets until the economy makes substantial progress.