- Gold futures fell on Thursday as investors brushed off sluggish U.S. data and avoided the commodity after a key Federal Reserve official gave an upbeat forecast for the economy.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at 1,316.40 a troy ounce during U.S. trading, down 0.47%, up from a session low of $1,307.00 and off a high of $1,320.60.

The August contract settled up 0.10% at $1,322.60 on Wednesday.

Futures were likely to find support at $1,305.40 a troy ounce, Tuesday''s low, and resistance at $1,326.60, Tuesday''s high.

St. Louis Federal Reserve President James Bullard told Fox Business Network earlier that an improving economy may make conditions ripe for interest rates to rise possibly in early 2015.

The Commerce Department reported Wednesday that U.S. gross domestic product contracted at an annual rate of 2.9% in the first quarter of the year, far surpassing consensus forecasts for a decline of 1.7%, though markets quickly brushed off the dismal numbers as a weather-related disappointment.

"I think the market''s right to shake this off," Bullard told the network, describing the contraction as an "aberration."

"If you throw out the first quarter and just look forward over the next four quarters, most forecasters have 3%-plus growth."

Inflation, while still low, is on the rise and approaching the Fed''s 2% target.

"My forecast actually has us moving through 2% and over 2% in 2015."

Expectations for tighter monetary policy in the U.S. early next year strengthened the dollar, which trades inversely from gold, giving investors room to shrug off soft U.S. data, which still painted a picture of a recovering U.S. economy despite missing expectations.

The U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending June 21 declined by 2,000 to 312,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 314,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 310,000 last week.

A separate report showed that U.S. personal spending rose 0.2% last month, below expectations for an increase of 0.4%. Personal spending for April was revised to a flat reading from a previously reported decline of 0.1%.

Meanwhile, silver for September delivery was down 0.21% at $21.127 a troy ounce, while copper futures for September delivery were up 0.23% at $3.173 a pound.

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