New York, May 24th (TradersHuddle.com) – Gold put an end to a three-day losing streak on Thursday as traders once again engaged in what appeared to be bargain hunting. Comex gold for June delivery added $9.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,557.50 an ounce, bucking a stronger dollar in the process. The PowerShares DB US Dollar Index Bullish (NYSE: UUP) added 0.4%. That ETF is now within six cents of its 52-week high, as we noted in our oil recap.
While small, gold’s Thursday gains can also be considered impressive in light of the fact that economists have confirmed that seven of the 17 Euro Zone nations are officially in recessions. Not surprisingly, that list includes Greece, Italy and Spain, all members of the now infamous PIIGS acronym. Economic woes in Italy and Spain are seen as particularly concerning given that those are the Euro Zone’s third- and fourth-largest economies respectively.
Gold was also boosted by news that global central banks are continuing their purchases of the yellow metal, a trend that has been apparent this month and last month. Mexico, Kazakhstan and Ukraine were buyers last month, while the Philippines' central bank lifted its gold reserves by more than one million troy ounces in the month prior, data released Thursday by the International Monetary Fund show, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Gains for gold futures did not carry over to the major gold-backed ETFs as the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) and the iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) both closed slightly lower on the day. On the back of some decent economic data, the iShares Silver Trust (NSYE: SLV) climbed 1.4% on weak volume.
In economic news, the weekly jobless claims number fell to 368,000 last week from 370,000 the week before. The less volatile four-week moving average has fallen for three straight weeks. Continuing claims declined to 3.26 million. The Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose 0.2% in April after a 3.7 percent decline in March. Core capital goods orders fell 1.9% following a 2.2% drop in March. Excluding transportation, durable goods orders fell 0.6% compared with a 0.8% decline in March.
Those data points weren’t enough to lift the fortunes of the other white metals as the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) lost 1.3% light turnover. The ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) endured a small light-volume loss as well.
On a modest up day for equities, the major mining ETFs notched small gains, too. The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL) added just less than 0.2% while the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) climbed 0.4% on above average trade. The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) added 0.6% on high volume.