A lingering reaction to the Fed meeting minutes released yesterday boosted gold at the expense of the dollar.
Thursday morning saw spot gold add almost $13 (+1.0%) to $1,305/oz.
However, the yellow metal still faces strong resistance above the $1,300 level.
Spot silver was up 17¢ (+1.1%) to trade at $16.62/oz.
Platinum gained 1.3% (+$12) to $910/oz, yet palladium slumped 0.6% in the opposite direction, falling back near $970/oz.
Jobless Claims, Housing Prices, and FOMC
The Department of Labor reported higher-than-expected jobless claims Thursday.
Weekly jobless claims were up 11,000 to 234,000, the highest in six weeks.
In addition, data from Zillow showed that home prices in the U.S. accelerated at their fastest pace in 12 years last month.
The national median home price rose by 8.7% in April, a clip not seen since June 2006. Values exceed their highs from before the real estate bubble in about two-thirds of the country's largest housing markets.
Mortgage rates have also been on the rise as the Fed continues to signal more interest-rate hikes to come.
Yesterday's FOMC meeting minutes were interpreted as slightly dovish even though the committee considered removing language about monetary policy staying somewhat accommodative.
The FOMC also signaled support for a June rate hike. The likelihood of another quarter-percent increase to the federal funds rate next month is around 95%, according to market expectations.
There was also debate about what the break-even point for U.S. interest rates will be in the long-term. The Fed's current projection is 2.9%, but most analysts believe 2.5% is more accurate.
The dollar index pulled back from its recent highs Thursday to trade 0.25% lower at 93.75.
As a result, the yen rallied 0.55% to ¥109.5 while the euro and pound were both up about 0.3% versus the USD.
The 10-year Treasury yield broke back below 3.0% as a wave of fresh demand pushed the yield down to 2.96% this morning.
Bitcoin Under Pressure, Diplomacy With North Korea Stalls
The leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, fell below $7,500 after the Department of Justice announced it is opening an investigation into price manipulation.
Altcoin prices have struggled amid more bad news. Scammers recently used fake Twitter profiles resembling a pair of Bloomberg reporters to encourage followers to buy cryptocoins.
In geopolitical news, North Korea and the U.S. are still facing potential barriers to cooperation.
Several U.S. officials, from National Security Adviser John Bolton to Vice President Mike Pence, have called for the DPRK to dismantle its entire nuclear weapons program before any concessions are made.
The Kim regime followed through on its promise to destroy tunnels used for testing its nuclear arsenal.
Nonetheless, most observers believe that North Korea will only denuclearize in a series of phases rather than all at once.
This disagreement caused President Trump to cancel the summit scheduled for June 12th in Singapore. (That didn't stop the White House from selling challenge coins commemorating the event in its gift shop.)
Wall St dipped about 0.5% in early trading on the Korean impasse. European markets rebounded slightly before sliding sharply into negative territory.
Most Asian equities closed lower overnight. Shares in China fell by 0.7% while Japanese indices lost more than 1.1%.
Meanwhile, the rally for oil prices stalled, as both WTI crude and Brent crude were off about 1%.
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