(Bloomberg) — Gold rose Thursday for the first time this week as more Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment-insurance payments, increasing pressure on the Federal Reserve to loosen monetary policy.
Applications for jobless benefits increased by 34,000 to 386,000 in the week ended
July 14, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 365,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke told lawmakers on July 17 that policy makers are studying options for further easing.
“The wish and hope for some kind of easing is rising, and today’s numbers only support that theory,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for August delivery gained 0.6 percent to settle at $1,580.40 an ounce at 1:39 p.m. on the Comex in New York. The price fell 1.3 percent in the previous three days.
The metal surged 70 percent from the end of December 2008 to June 2011 as the central bank kept borrowing costs at a record low and bought $2.3 trillion of debt in two rounds of so- called quantitative easing. Policy makers are scheduled to announce a rate decision on Aug. 1.
Silver futures for September delivery advanced 0.5 percent to $27.217 an ounce.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for October delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $1,423.10 an ounce. Palladium futures for September delivery climbed 1.3 percent to $584.85 an ounce.