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Gold, Newmont Mining Surge as Dollar Slumps (Update 1)

Updated from 11:57 a.m. ET with settlement prices

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices jumped on Thursday as the U.S. dollar fell against a basket of foreign currencies.

Gold for December delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $24.60 to settle at $1,309.90 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,313.80 and as low as $1,282 an ounce, while the spot price popped 2% to $1,310.88.

"You got the dollar index down... that's definitely going to help out the metals, and it's helping, actually, most of the commodities across the board," said Phil Streible, senior commodities broker at RJO Futures.

Silver prices for September delivery closed higher by 69 cents at $20.19 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was slumping 0.37%.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims for the week ending Aug. 3 rose from the prior week by 5,000 to 333,000. The number came in below expectations of economists polled by Thomson Reuters and the 4-week moving average dipped to its lowest level since November of 2007.

Despite what appeared to be an upbeat report, gold traders became heavy buyers on Thursday morning as major U.S. stock markets floated in mixed territory.

The positive boost to the yellow metal sparked a surge in shares of Newmont Mining (NEM). Shares of the gold miner were among the top percentage gainers in the S&P on Thursday, adding 8.6% to $28.76.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher on Thursday. Shares of NovaGold Resources (NG) were soaring 11.3% to $2.67.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was up 2.1% to $126.76, while iShares Gold Trust (IAU) was up 2.1% to $12.73.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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