Futures & Commodities

Gold ends up 1%; platinum, palladium prices plunge

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Gold settled at its highest level in nearly three weeks on Thursday after both U.S. retail sales and jobless claims came in below expectations, weighing on the dollar and equities.

Retail sales rose 0.3 percent in May, half of the growth rate that had been expected, while the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week.

for August delivery ended $12.80 higher, up 1 percent on the day, at $1,274.00 an ounce, their highest close since May 23. Spot gold, meanwhile, added 1 percent to $1,273 an ounce.

The dollar turned 0.2 percent weaker against a basket of currencies after the data. A weaker dollar makes gold cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Chart: Precious Metals

In other precious metals, platinum and palladium posted their biggest daily losses for nearly a year after South African producers said they had reached "in principle" undertakings with the union to end a crippling five-month strike.

The Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) took the wage offer from Anglo American Platinum Ltd, Impala Platinum Holdings and Lonmin Plc to their 70,000 striking members. That fuelled expectations that an end to the strike that has disrupted global production could be in sight.

Spot platinum fell 3.3 percent to a one-week low of $1,427.50 an ounce, posting its biggest daily loss since June 2013. It was trading down 2.6 percent at $1.439 an ounce.

Spot palladium fell as much as 4.6 percent to $817.60 an ounce, its lowest since May 20 in earlier trade. It was down 4.2 percent at $821 an ounce.

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—By Reuters