Gold price rose on a weaker U.S. dollar. The U.S. dollar fell against other currencies after the release of the U.S. economic data. The U.S. Labor Department released its jobless claims figures on Thursday. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending February 13 in the U.S. declined by 7,000 to 262,000 from 269,000 in the previous week. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise to 275,000.
The Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank released its manufacturing index on Thursday. The index climbed to -2.8 in February from -3.5 in January, exceeding expectations for an increase to -3.0.
The Conference Board released its leading economic index (LEI) for the U.S. on Thursday. The leading economic index fell 0.2% in January, missing expectations for a 0.2% decrease, after a 0.3% decline in December. "The U.S. LEI fell slightly in January, driven primarily by large declines in stock prices and further weakness in initial claims for unemployment insurance. Despite back-to-back monthly declines, the index doesn't signal a significant increase in the risk of recession, and its six-month growth rate remains consistent with a modest economic expansion through early 2016," director of business cycles and growth research at The Conference Board, Ataman Ozyildirim, said.
Concerns over the slowdown in the global economy also supported gold. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) released its growth forecast on Thursday. The OECD downgraded its global growth outlook. The OECD expect the global economy to grow 3.0% in 2016, down from the previous estimate of 3.3%, and at 3.3% in 2017, down from the previous estimate of 3.6%.
March futures for gold on the COMEX today increased to 1218.30 dollars per ounce.