Gold futures declined sharply on Thursday and posted their biggest single-session loss in about six weeks, after the yields on long-term Treasury notes moved up and the dollar rose on strong retail sales data.

The yield on U.S. 10-year Treasury Note rose to 1.327% today, up by about 0.025 from the previous session.

The dollar index climbed to 92.96, gaining nearly 0.5%.

Gold futures for December settled at $1,756.70 an ounce, losing $38.10 or about 2.1%, the biggest loss since August 6, in percentage terms, and the lowest close in over five weeks.

Silver futures for December ended down by $1.007 or 4.2% at $22.794 an ounce, the lowest settlement about ten months, while Copper futures for December settled at $4.2815 per pound, down $0.1250 or about 2.8% from the previous close.

The Commerce Department said retail sales climbed by 0.7% in August after plunging by a revised 1.8% in July. Economists had expected retail sales to decrease by another 0.8% following the 1.1% slump originally reported for the previous month.

While the rebound in retail sales partly reflected a shift back to online spending amid the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus, the resilience shown by consumers may encourage the Federal Reserve to follow through on plans to begin tapering its asset purchases later this year.

Meanwhile, a separate report from the Labor Department showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rebounded by slightly more than expected in the week ended September 11th.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 332,000, an increase of 20,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 312,000. Economists had expected initial jobless claims to rise to 328,000 from the 310,000 originally reported for the previous week.


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