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Gold Hits Three-Week Closing High

Gold surged above the $900-an-ounce mark again on Thursday in U.S. trading and finished higher for the fifth straight session...

Gold surged above the $900-an-ounce mark again on Thursday in U.S. trading and finished higher for the fifth straight session, a three-week closing high. August gold moved to $904.00, up $10.50 on the day. The metal hit as high as $911.00, a 10-day intraday high.

The metal has been trending sharply higher for a week and has drifted away from a five-week low. Gold added $6.60 on Wednesday's session on a weaker dollar.

The price of gold turned higher on Tuesday after an early slide and added $1.30 on the day. Prices finished up $13.20 on Monday.
The metal climbed as the U.S. dollar saw mixed results against other majors. The greenback was sharply higher against the euro, but lower against the pound.

Generally, gold moves opposite the dollar because of the precious metal's hedge value.

Stochastics and the RSI were in the neutral range for the contract. The next upward target is $912.50, the high crossing of June 9. If prices move lower, support could be found at $859.60, the low crossing on June 12.

In economic news Thursday morning, the Department of Labor released its report on initial jobless claims in the week ended June 14th, showing that jobless claims fell to 381,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 386,000. Economists had been expecting jobless claims to fall to 375,000 from the 384,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia report showed that the diffusion index of current activity fell to a negative 17.1 in June from a negative 15.6 in May, with a negative reading indicating a contraction in the sector. Economists had been expecting the index to narrow to a negative 10.0.

Also Thursday morning, the Conference Board released its report on leading economic indicators in the month of May, showing that its leading indicators index edged up 0.1 percent in May, matching the increase that was seen in April. The modest increase came as somewhat of a surprise to economists, who had expected the index to come in unchanged.

Meanwhile, oil plunged towards the $132 on reports that China will boost prices of retail gasoline and diesel prices, causing concern of reduced demand. According to reports, the world's largest oil consumer will boost gasoline prices by 17%, diesel prices by 18% and jet fuel prices by 25% on Friday.

That news outweighed reports of further violence in Nigeria. According to reports, a deepwater field off the coast in Nigeria was shut down because of a militant attack.