Investing.com - Gold prices held on to modest gains on Thursday, following the release of mixed U.S. economic data on durable goods orders and initial jobless claims.
On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for April delivery traded in a range between $1,324.20 a troy ounce and $1,334.00 an ounce.
Gold prices last traded at $1,333.00 an ounce during U.S. morning hours, up 0.35%.
Gold futures rose to $1,345.60 an ounce on Wednesday, the most since October 30, before turning lower to settle at $1,328.00 an ounce, down 1.09%, or $14.70.
Prices were likely to find support at $1,307.10 a troy ounce, the low from February 20 and resistance at $1,345.60, the high from February 26.
Meanwhile, silver for May delivery rose 0.3% to trade at $21.34 a troy ounce. Prices fell to $21.02 an ounce earlier, the lowest since February 14. The May contract plunged 3.24% on Wednesday to settle at $21.28 an ounce.
The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits rose by 14,000 to 348,000 last week. Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 1,000 to 335,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 334,000.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended February 14 rose to 2.964 million from 2.956 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to increase to 2.985 million.
A separate report from the U.S. Commerce Department said that total durable goods orders, which include transportation items, declined by a seasonally adjusted 1% last month, compared to expectations for a 1.5% drop.
Orders for durable goods in December were revised down to a 5.3% decline from a previously reported drop of 4.2%.
Core durable goods orders, excluding volatile transportation items, increased by a seasonally adjusted 1.1% in January, compared to forecasts for a 0.3% decline.
Core durable goods orders in December were revised down to a 1.9% decline from a previously reported drop of 1.3%.
Orders for core capital goods, a key barometer of private-sector business investment, rose 1.7% last month, confounding expectations for a 0.2% decline and after falling 1.8% in December.
Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to calculate quarterly economic growth, dipped 0.8% in January, compared to forecasts for a 1% decline, after rising 0.3% in the preceding month.
Investors now looked ahead to Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen''s Senate testimony later in the day. Ms. Yellen was expected to reiterate that the U.S. central bank would continue to roll back its asset purchase program, as long as the economy improves as expected.
Meanwhile, gold benefitted from rising safe-haven demand after reports that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered 150,000 Russian troops to begin military exercises in central and western Russia, near the border with Ukraine.
The move prompted the United States to warn Russia that it would be a "grave mistake" to intervene militarily.
Tensions in Ukraine have been rising ever since the country’s pro-Kremlin President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted last week, reportedly fleeing to Russia.
Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for May delivery declined 0.7% to trade at a three-week low of $3.194 a pound.
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