Weekly initial jobless claims print Thursday at 8:30 a.m. ES. This could send more signals to traders of the precious metal as to where the unemployment rate may be headed in January. Import and export prices in the U.S. come out on Friday, which could be a decent gauge of the inflation environment.

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower on Wednesday. Shares of Royal Gold ( RGLD) were off 1.9%, but shares of NovaGold Resources ( GOLD) were adding 0.62%.

Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold ( AUY) was adding 0.27%, and Goldcorp ( NEM) was retreating by 1.7%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) was slipping 0.06%, and iShares Gold Trust ( IAU) was effectively unchanged at $16.12 a share.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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