Gold falls as U.S. dollar strengthens

By Xu JingUnreguser

CHICAGO, Feb. 2 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell on Thursday as the U.S. dollar strengthened.

The most active gold contract for April delivery fell 12 U.S. dollars, or 0.62 percent, to close at 1,930.8 dollars per ounce.

Gold prices tapped the highest level in more than nine months before pulled back. Investors bet that the Federal Reserve will soon conclude its campaign of interest-rate hikes.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 25 basis points as expected Wednesday, signaling in the meantime more hikes are likely before the central bank takes a breather in its fight against inflation. At a press conference on Wednesday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell's remarks appeared to be more dovish than many market participants had expected.

Investors are also waiting for the jobs report due out on Friday.

Economic data released Thursday are mixed. U.S. Labor Department reported U.S. initial jobless claims dropped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 183,000 in the week ending Jan. 28, the lowest level since April 2022.

U.S. Labor Department reported U.S. nonfarm business sector labor productivity increased 3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Silver for March delivery rose 0.6 cents, or 0.03 percent, to close at 23.615 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery rose 30.9 dollars, or 3.08 percent, to close at 1,032.6 dollars per ounce.

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