On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — jumped $27.50 to close at $1,360.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September soared $1.15 to finish at $22.94.
Both precious metals climbed significantly higher despite jobless claims reaching pre-recession levels. The Department of Labor on Thursday reported that new claims fell 15,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 335,000. This report painted a slightly better picture of the labor market.
“The data continues to improve and impress the marketplace, and I think the data will continue in this direction,” Bank of Nova Scotia’s head of treasuries, Charles Comiskey, told Reuters. ”Then the question becomes not whether they are tapering in September, but how much.”
While jobless claims provide the first look at the employment situation for any given month, the weekly figures can be volatile, so economists use the four-week moving average to understand wider trends. Last week, that figure also declined, plummeting 4,000 to 332,000, the lowest level since November 2007.
Stocks across the board declined as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) fell more than 200 points. The 10-year Treasury yield reached its highest level in two years at 2.82 percent. However, silver outperformed everything in the market by soaring more than 5 percent.
By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) jumped 2.09 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) surged 5.03 percent. Shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) both increased almost 6 percent. Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) shares gained 7.7 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS