Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange futures scored their highest settlement in more than two weeks on Thursday as a weaker U.S. dollar, disappointing U.S. economic data and strong physical demand in Asia combined to lift prices above 1,400 dollars an ounce.
The most active gold contract for August delivery rose 20.2 dollars, or 1.45 percent, to settle at 1,412.0 dollars per ounce. That was the highest close for a most-active contract since May 14, according to FactSet data.
The U.S. dollar fell sharply after the first quarter U.S. GDP, weekly unemployment claims and pending home sales all disappointed expectations, according to analysts, a fall in the greenback tends to provide support for dollar-denominated commodities such as gold, as it makes them less expensive for holders of other currencies to buy them.
The U.S. economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.4 percent in the first quarter, down from an initial estimate of 2.5 percent, according to data from the U.S. Department of Commerce. Separately, the Labor Department reported that the number of U.S. workers who filed new applications for unemployment benefits rose by a more- than-expected 10,000 last week to 354,000.
And the National Association of Realtors said that pending sales of homes ticked up 0.3 percent in April with gain in the Northeast and Midwest, but the South and the West saw decreases, according to reports.
In addition, the gold market has seen support from physical buying in Asia. Asian gold demand from this April to June is expected to reach a quarterly record, the World Gold Council said on Wednesday.
Silver for July delivery rose 23.7 cents, or 1.06 percent, to close at 22.69 dollars per ounce.