Gold and Silver Climb Higher After Jobless Data

On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery increased $14.80 to settle at $1,698.70 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures gained 25 cents to close at $33.83.

Precious metal investments climbed higher as new jobless claims were higher last week than in the week before.  Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 8,000 in the week ended March 3 to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.  Jobless claims were expected to be 352,000.  It is the first time claims have seen three consecutive weeks of increases since August 2010.

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The number of people still receiving benefits under regular state programs after an initial week of aid rose 10,000 to 3.42 million in the week ended February 25, the most recent week for which that information is available.  About 43 percent of the 12.8 million Americans unemployed in January had been out of work for more than 6 months. Moreover 23.8 million Americans are either out of work or underemployed, and there are no job openings for nearly three out of every four unemployed people.

In afternoon trading, the U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) declined as more stimulus may be requested for the job market.  Furthermore, reports indicate the Greece will be able to put together a deal with bondholders.  The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) increased .80 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) popped 1.15 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) jumped 2.9 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.  Silver names such as Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both gained about 1.8 percent.

On Friday, the Labor Department will release its monthly payrolls report. Despite the rise in claims last week, the government is still expected to report on Friday that the economy had a third straight month of solid job gains in February.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at