GOLD - NEW YORK. Gold inched lower on Thursday after data pointing to a tight U.S. labour market pushed the dollar and yields higher, but held a tight range as traders positioned for interest rate guidance from central bankers at Jackson Hole.
Spot gold was down 0.02% at $1,913.99 per ounce by 9:30 a.m. EDT (1330 GMT), easing slightly off its highest level since Aug. 10 hit earlier in the session. U.S. gold futures fell 0.3% to $1,941.60.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, as labour market conditions remained tight despite the Federal Reserve's aggressive rate hikes. The "strong jobs market continues to portend a Fed that would need to remain higher for longer," said David Meger, director of metals trading at High Ridge Futures.
The Fed is holding its annual symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming from Aug. 24 to Aug. 26, with investors waiting for Fed Chair Jerome Powell's speech on Friday at 10:05 a.m. EDT for confirmation on whether interest rates are going to stay higher for longer.
"The expectation is still that most Fed speakers will continue to pound the drum of the need to fight off these inflationary pressures," said Meger.
Higher U.S. rates raise the opportunity cost of holding gold, which yields no interest.
A bounce in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields after the jobless claims data, also dented bullion's appeal.
Spot silver fell 0.8% to $24.12 per ounce and platinum was down 0.2% at $928.18. Palladium dropped 0.8% to $1,263.78.
For silver, immediate resistance at $24.50 will be on watch next, and moving past this level may potentially pave the way to retest its year-to-date high of around $26, said Yeap Jun Rong, a market strategist at IG.