Gold prices climbed higher on Thursday as a sell-off in global stock markets amid worries over rising inflation and growth concerns pushed up the demand for the safe-haven metal.
The dollar’s sharp slide contributed as well to gold’s surge.
Investors fretted over the impact of the prolonged Ukraine-Russia war, higher interest rates and China’s zero-COVID policy on global growth.
Also, downside risks to growth intensified after U.S. retail giants Target and Walmart missed earnings expectations by wide margins and issued back-to-back profit warnings.
The dollar index dropped to 102.70, losing about 1.1%.
Gold futures ended higher by $25.30 or about 1.4% at $1,841.20 an ounce, recording the biggest gains in terms of percentage in about five weeks.
Silver futures for July ended up by $0.364 at $21.908 an ounce, while Copper futures for July settled at $4.2830 per pound, gaining $0.1045.
Data from the Labor Department showed initial jobless claims rose to 218,000 in the week ended May 14th, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 197,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 200,000 from the 203,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Growth in Philadelphia-area manufacturing activity showed a significant slowdown in the month of May, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia revealed in a report on Thursday.
The Philly Fed said its current general activity index tumbled to 2.6 in May from 17.6 in April, hitting its lowest level in two years.
A report released by the National Association of Realtors showed existing home sales showed a significant decrease in the month of April, tumbling by 2.4% to an annual rate of 5.61 million in April after plunging by 3% to a revised rate of 5.75 million in March. Economists had expected existing home sales to decrease by 0.7%.