LONDON: Gold hit four-week lows on Thursday, under pressure from upbeat US data in the run-up to a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen this week that will be watched for clues on monetary policy.
Spot gold was down 0.2 per cent at $1,320.40 an ounce at 1332 GMT, while US gold futures for December delivery were down $6.40 an ounce at $1,323.30.
Data on Thursday showed new orders for US manufactured capital goods rose for a second straight month in July, while another report showed an unexpected drop in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits last week.
Gold is highly sensitive to rising US rates, as these increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion, while boosting the dollar, in which it is priced.
Minutes from the US central bank’s July 26-27 policy meeting showed broad agreement that more economic data is needed before raising interest rates, but recent comments from other policymakers have been much more hawkish.
Silver was up 0.1pc at $18.53 an ounce, after hitting an eight-week low of $18.46 earlier in the session. Platinum and palladium were both up 0.1pc at $1,076.40 and $682.35 respectively, after touching their lowest in more than four weeks on Wednesday.