From Chris Mullen at GoldSeek.com...
Spot Gold Prices traded modestly higher in Asia and London and then added to its gains in early New York trade to see a 1% rise near $690 by about 10:00 EST before it fell back near $685.
The Gold Market then took off to new highs between 11:00 and noon – topping $697 per ounce, a sudden 16-month high – ahead of modest profit-taking in afternoon trade that left it with a 2.0% gain
The Price of Gold in Euros rose to over €507, platinum gained $15 to $1,283, palladium gained $4 to $334, and copper rose a few cents to about $3.32.
Silver rose to as high as $12.50 by midday before it also fell back off a bit into the close, but it still ended with a gain of 1.48%.
Gold and silver equities saw roughly 6% gains by early afternoon and remained near their highs into the close.
In the economy, initial US jobless claims for last week came in lower than forecast, while productivity data showed a rise alongside the ISM Services index.
But a separate report showed, as Bloomberg put it, that the “number of Americans who may lose their homes to foreclosure reached a record in the second quarter as late payments by subprime borrowers surged to one out of every seven loans.”
Also of note was the Federal Reserve's decision to pump the largest amount of liquidity into the banking system in a month. Its colleagues at the European Central Bank in Frankfurt also added funds to ease tension.
The Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P traded mostly higher as various reports from retailers came in better than expected for the most part, but gains were limited as anxiety over future data and possible developments in credit problems remained.
Friday at 08:30 EST brings August’s jobs data, with non-farm US payrolls expected at 110,000. The Unemployment Rate is expected at 4.6%, with Hourly Earnings forecast at 0.3%.
In the broader markets, crude oil rose above $77 per barrel in early trade on renewed terror worries in the Middle East and Nigeria. US inventory reports came in near expectations overall.
Oil then fell back to find slight losses by early afternoon, after comments urging OPEC to raise production at their meeting next week. By the close, oil then rose higher and ended nearly 1% up
The US Dollar index initially fell after the European Central Bank and Bank of England both kept interest rates unchanged as expected due to Europe's recent credit problems, but ECB president Trichet still kept a tightening bias heading forward in his comments. That gave some strength to the Euro.
US Treasury bonds traded on either side of unchanged and closed lower on those stronger than forecast economic data. The yield on the 10-year note rose from the new 9-month lows hit on Wednesday.