The precious metals saw fairly muted action Thursday as U.S. markets reopened after the July 4th holiday.
Spot gold was down $2 (-0.15%) to about $1,255/oz in New York.
Meanwhile, spot silver dipped 5¢ (-0.35%) to trade back down to $16.00/oz.
Platinum traded flat at $840/oz and palladium was off slightly to $940/oz.
Focus on Jobs Reports
The last two trading sessions of the week are likely to be defined by the latest employment data from the Department of Labor.
This morning, first-time jobless claims came in at a six-week high, rising by 3,000 to 231,000 new claims last week.
Still, it marks the ninth consecutive month that weekly jobless claims held below 250,000.
Tomorrow the Labor Department will release its monthly nonfarm payrolls (NFP) report. It is always a closely-watched measure of the health of the economy.
Many traders use the ADP payrolls data as a preview of the NFP. According to ADP, the private sector added 177,000 jobs during June. However, the nonfarm numbers are considered more accurate.
Last month's FOMC meeting minutes will also be released later today. The transcripts are expected to show that the Federal Reserve has no intention of slowing its pace of rate hikes.
The central bank will likely continue to take a hawkish turn under the leadership of Chair Jerome Powell.
In forex trading, the DXY index fell 0.25% Thursday to 94.3.
The yen was flat against the dollar. The pound sterling was also unchanged just above $1.32, but the euro rallied 0.4% to move back above $1.17.
Equities Gain After Holiday
Wall St opened solidly higher following the holiday break. The Dow Jones and S&P 500 each advanced 0.5%.
Bonds hardly budged when trading reopened. The 10-year Treasury yield added one basis point to 2.84%.
The Independence Day holiday gave American investors a breather from all of the trade war talk, but the reprieve was short-lived. Over $30 billion in tariffs against Chinese goods will go into effect tomorrow.
Retaliatory tariffs by China are expected to follow shortly.
Asian markets slumped to a nine-month low overnight as a result. The Topix index in Tokyo sank more than 1.0%.
The White House has also taken heat for its strategy of imposing automobile tariffs against the European Union. European stocks rallied Thursday, led higher by Germany's DAX index (+1.3%).
Most commodities benefited from a weaker dollar. However, copper futures fell again to just $2.85 per pound.
Crude oil prices drifted slightly lower in early trading. WTI crude lost 0.2% to slip below $74/bbl while Brent held above $78/bbl.
The opinions and forecasts herein are provided solely for informational purposes, and should not be used or construed as an offer, solicitation, or recommendation to buy or sell any product.