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Gold prices rose after three days of decline due to demand in China, but the decline in the number of applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. holding back growth.
The number of initial claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell for the sixth time in seven weeks , signaled the continued strength of the labor market . Investors watch for those in search of employment guidance regarding future monetary policy of the USA , as the Fed's stimulus program has long supported gold prices . Investors fear that the good economic statistics give the Fed reason to start reducing incentives.
Stocks of the world's largest exchange-traded fund backed by gold (ETF) SPDR Gold Trust on Wednesday declined by 5.7 tonnes to 843.21 tonnes - the lowest level since early 2009. YTD fund holdings declined by more than 450 tons , as investors increased investments in the stock markets. YTD Gold fell more than 25 percent.
Demand for gold in China, which this year is expected to become the world's largest gold market instead of India , rose this week due to lower prices. On Thursday, gold trading volume of 99.99 percent of the sample on the Shanghai Gold Exchange rose to the highest since October 8 level of 18.3 tons.
In October, China has increased gold imports from Hong Kong to near record levels , buying more than 100 tons of the sixth month in a row against the backdrop of an unprecedented high demand.
The cost of the December gold futures on the COMEX today rose to $ 1244.80 per ounce.
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