On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, increased 60 cents to settle at $1,578.60 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March edged 8 cents higher to close at $28.70. It was the first positive day for gold in six trading sessions.
Both precious metals received some support after a week of heavy-selling pressure, as initial jobless claims were higher-than-expected. The Labor Department announced the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment increased 20,000 to 362,000 for the week ended February 16.
Economists polled by Bloomberg expected claims to reach 355,000. The four-week moving average — a less volatile measure of unemployment — also rose last week, increasing from 352,750 to 360,750. In addition, the number of people continuing to receive unemployment increased by 11,000 to 3.15 million in the week ended February 9.
By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed .80 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained 0.50 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and AuRico Gold (AUQ) jumped 5.2 percent and 4.7 percent, respectively. Meanwhile, silver names such as First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both bounced nearly 2 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS