NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices rose Thursday as investors shrugged off signs of a strengthening U.S. economy, focusing instead on a weaker dollar and continued uncertainty in Europe. Gold for April delivery settled $15 higher at $1,786.30 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,789.50 and as low as $1,773.30 an ounce while the spot price was rising $3.30, according to Kitco's gold index. Silver prices added $1.302 at $35.556 an ounce while the U.S. dollar index was down 0.52% at $78.813. The Labor Department reported that the number of Americans filing unemployment claims for the first time in the week ended Feb. 18 was unchanged from the previous week's revised figure of 351,000, keeping levels near a four-year low. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters expected a rise to 354,000 from an originally reported four-year low of 348,000.
The Labor Department added that the four-week moving average fell 7,000 to 359,000 from the previous week's revised average of 366,000. The report also noted that the number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits fell 52,000 in to 3.39 million in the week ended Feb. 11, from 3.44 million the preceding week. Gold mining stocks were trading higher Wednesday. Kinross Gold ( KGC) was falling 1.1% at $11.41 while Randgold Resources ( GOLD) was up 1.1% at $116.11 Agnico-Eagle ( AEM) was flat at $37.52 and Eldorado Gold ( EGO) was up 0.7% at $14.88. -- Written by Ross Tucker in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ross Tucker. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/rosstucker. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com.