Updated from 10:38 a.m. ET with settlement prices

NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Gold prices jumped Thursday as the U.S. dollar went into retreat.

Gold for December delivery settled up $12.60 at $1,619.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The

gold price traded as high as $1,622 and as low as $1,603, while the spot price was up $13.70, according to Kitco's gold index.

"There was a huge selloff of currencies as a whole overnight in Asia, but we've seen them all bounce back this morning and get stronger ... catching up with the dollar," said Chuck Butler, president of world markets at EverBank. "The dollar was bought overnight and now it's getting sold, so I think that has more to do with gold being up a few bucks today.

Silver prices for September delivery rose 40 cents to settle at $28.21 an ounce, while the

U.S. dollar index was falling 0.42% to $82.33.

The dollar index ran as high as $82.88 before 3 a.m. EDT before it turned sharply lower shortly after 8 a.m. EDT. It was recently off 0.44%.

The euro was also gaining against the U.S. dollar to $1.2365, up from the prior day's $1.2289.

Initial jobless claims rose 2,000 last week but the number wasn't necessarily weak enough to concern the

Federal Reserve

, which is slated to release minutes of the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee next Wednesday.

The housing sector has shown signs of improvement in the summer, but housing starts in July dipped 1.1% to 746,000 units, which was slightly below economists' consensus of 750,000, according to EconoDay. Data on building permits last month was more favorable, reaching an annual rate of 812,000 that represents a four-year high.

Gold traders continue to look ahead to next week's Fed news and the Jackson Hole summit on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 in anticipation of signals about the timing of additional monetary stimulus from the U.S. central bank.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher Thursday.

NovaGold Resources

(NG) - Get Report

was leading the charge, up 6.6%, while

Agnico-Eagle Mines

(AEM) - Get Report

was gaining 4.8%.

Among other mining stocks,

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report

,

Yamana Gold

(AUY) - Get Report

and

Barrick Gold

(ABX)

were rising 2.2%, 2.7% and 3.8%, respectively.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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