Weekly initial jobless claims also fell below the 400,000 level to 383,000. Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke has said that a weak jobs picture is one of the factors supporting the need for low interest rates for an extended period of time. If the picture changes, many experts think the Fed could raise rates by the end of 2011, which would clip any gold rally. Gold did manage to shrug off a rate hike from China earlier this week, but inflation in the U.S. is much lower than the emerging market. Counting food and energy costs, the rates are 4.6% versus 1.5%, respectively. Gold prices like negative real interest rates, the key interest rate minus the inflation rate, and any rate hike, even a modest one in the U.S., could dent this catalyst for gold. While gold is trying to find its way out of its trading range and either to the next support level of $1,330 or resistance level of $1,380 an ounce, other precious metals are attracting investors.
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