Gold prices headed lower Thursday morning, with bullion threatening to snap a five-session win streak, which would match its longest stretch of consecutive gains so far in 2021.
was trading $10.60, or 0.6%, to $1,870.70 an ounce, following a 0.7% gain on Wednesday, which extended the most active contract’s climb to its highest finish since early January, FactSet data show. A Thursday decline for bullion would end its win streak since a similar stretch ended Jan. 5.
Gold began to trade lower in electronic trade Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s April meeting, released after gold futures settled, showed that members of the Federal Open Market Committee agreed that any price increases from bottlenecks are likely to only have “transitory effects” on inflation.
However, minutes also implied that the FOMC may be moving toward discussing a pathway toward rolling back some of its pandemic-era accommodations as the economy rebounds from COVID-19.
“Gold traders may have thought they had a one-way ticket to $1,900, but the Fed’s minutes triggered a big reversal as preview of taper talks sent Treasury yields soaring higher,” wrote Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda in a Wednesday afternoon note.
On Thursday, economic data was offering a mixed picture of the COVID recovery phase.
A reading on U.S. unemployment benefits continued to decline to a pandemic low in mid-May as companies ramp up hiring efforts. Initial jobless claims fell 34,000 to 444,000 in the week ended May 15. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal had forecast new claims to fall to a seasonally adjusted 452,000.
Meanwhile, a reading of manufacturing activity in the Philadelphia area, the Philly Fed factory index, fell to 31.5 in May from 50.2 in April.