Gold prices drifted lower on Thursday as the dollar gained in strength against other major currencies, and U.S. Treasury yields rose.

Markets also digested weekly U.S. jobless claims data that showed a decline for a third straight week.

The dollar index rose to 91.58, gaining nearly 0.5%.

Gold futures for April ended down $43.90 or about 2.4% at $1,791.20 an ounce, after plunging to a low of $1,784.60.

Silver futures for March ended lower by $0.655 or about 2.4% at $26.234 an ounce, while Copper futures for March settled at $3.5530 per pound, down $0.0125 or about 0.4% from previous close.

According to data released by the Labor Department, jobless claims in the U.S. declined for a third week. The report said initial jobless claims fell to 779,000 in the week ended January 30th, a decrease of 33,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 812,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 830,000 from the 847,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Bank of England’s nine-member monetary policy committee headed by Governor Andrew Bailey voted to hold the interest rate at 0.1% and the quantitative easing at GBP 895 billion.

On negative interest rate, the MPC said it did not wish to send any signal that it intended to set a negative Bank Rate at some point in the future. It concluded overall that it would be appropriate to start the preparations to provide the capability to do so if necessary in the future.

Bank of England expects the UK economy to fall by around 4% in the first quarter of 2021, in contrast to expectations of a rise in the November Report. The bank lowered its forecast for the British economic growth for this year to 5% from 7.25% projected in November.

The material has been provided by InstaForex Company – www.instaforex.com

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