- Gold prices turned higher on Thursday, after data showed that consumer price inflation in the U.S. rose in line with expectations in December.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for February delivery traded at USD1,240.70 a troy ounce during U.S. morning trade, up 0.2%.

Gold prices held in a range between USD1,235.90 a troy ounce and USD1,243.40 a troy ounce. Futures were likely to find support at USD1,226.60 a troy ounce, the low from January 10 and resistance at USD1,254.90, the high from January 14.

Meanwhile, silver for March delivery eased down 0.05% to trade at USD20.12 a troy ounce. Comex silver prices held in a range between USD19.97 a troy ounce and USD20.24 a troy ounce.

Silver futures were likely to find support at USD19.54 a troy ounce, the low from January 10 and resistance at USD20.60, the high from January 14.

The U.S. Commerce Department said that consumer prices rose by as a seasonally adjusted 0.3% last month, matching forecasts, after holding flat in November. Year-over-year, consumer prices rose at an annualized rate of 1.5% in December, in line with expectations and up from 1.2% in November.

Consumer prices, excluding food and energy costs, inched up by a seasonally adjusted 0.1% last month, meeting estimates. Core consumer prices rose 0.2% in November. Core CPI increased at annualized rate of 1.7% in December, unchanged from November and in line with expectations.

Core prices are viewed by the Federal Reserve as a better gauge of longer-term inflationary pressure because they exclude the volatile food and energy categories. The central bank usually tries to aim for 2% core inflation or less.

A separate report showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell to a six-week low.

The Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending January 11 declined by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 328,000. Analysts had expected U.S. jobless claims to hold steady at 328,000 last week.

Investors have closely been looking out for U.S. data reports recently to gauge if they will strengthen or weaken the case for the Fed to scale back stimulus. The central bank is scheduled to meet January 28-29 to review the economy and assess policy.

Elsewhere on the Comex, copper futures for March delivery fell 0.4% to trade at USD3.344 a pound. March Comex copper prices ended Wednesday’s session up 0.66% to settle at USD3.358 a pound.

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