Investing.com - Gold prices edged higher nearing midday trade on Thursday, snapping a two-day losing streak, amid continuing concerns over trade and mixed economic data.
At 11:31 AM ET (15:31GMT), gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange gained $3.40, or 0.3%, to $1,247.80 a troy ounce.
Traders commented that gold was getting a lift from some of the trade tensions as market participants looked for a safe-haven investment.
On Wednesday, the U.S. threatened to impose tariffs on an additional $200 billion worth of Chinese goods. China said on Thursday that the two countries have not been in touch about restarting talks and while it does not want a trade war, it would fight if necessary.
While supporting the Federal Reserve’s current plan to gradually increase interest rates, the data did not tilt towards the idea that the central bank would have to pick up the pace.
Higher interest rates tend to weigh on demand for gold, which doesn’t bear interest, in favor of yield-bearing investments.
Weekly jobless claims served to confirm the current strength of the U.S. labor market, with the 214,000 reading at its lowest level since early May.
Meanwhile, the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was little changed with no impact on the dollar-denominated precious metal.
Still ahead, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Minneapolis Fed chief Neel Kashkari have separate appearances that investors will keep an eye on for any perspective over the economy and monetary policy.
In other metals trading, silver futures rose 1.1% at $16.000 a troy ounce by 11:38 AM ET (15:38GMT).
Palladium futures advanced 0.8% to $944.80 an ounce, while sister metal platinum traded up 1.5% at $847.10.
In base metals, copper gained 1.4% to $2.783 a pound.