Futures for gold and silver faced sharp losses Thursday, as a rise in the U.S. dollar, combined with climbing Treasury yields helped to weigh on prices for precious metals.
A better-than-expected report on U.S. jobless benefit claims which slipped to their lowest level since November amid the COVID pandemic, also did little to help spark buying in metals.
Gold futures for April delivery were down $24.60, or 1.3%, at $1,810.50 an ounce, putting the yellow metal on pace for its lowest settlement since around late November, early December, FactSet data show.
Silver futures for March delivery were down 34 cents, or 1.3%, at $26.55 an ounce, following a 1.8% rise on Wednesday, following an over 10% decline for futures on Tuesday.
Weekly jobless benefit claims showed the number of people who applied for unemployment benefits at the end of January fell for a third straight week to a nine-week low, suggesting that hiring is slowly picking up again as a record wave of coronavirus cases recedes.
Meanwhile, commodities dealers are looking at moves in bonds and currencies after the Bank of England on Thursday said it was time to start preparing for negative interest rates.
The dollar as gauged by the ICE U.S. Dollar Index was up 0.2% and the 10-year Treasury note was up 1.14%.
Strength in the dollar and rising bond yields can detract from buying in gold, which doesn’t offer a coupon and is usually priced in dollars.