The precious metal benefited from weaker economic data released by the U.S., which renewed discussion about additional monetary easing by the U.S. Federal Reserve. The U.S. dollar, which loses value when the financial institution intervenes, dropped against the shared currency of the European Union amid the conjecture.
"Another set of dismal economic numbers" enhances discussion about a third phase of quantitative easing, analyst Sterling Smith with Country Hedging told Dow Jones Newswires. "Whenever that shows up, gold tends to catch a bit of a bid. Quantitative easing is the number one item that propels gold over the short term."
At 9:49 a.m. on Thursday, gold futures gained 0.79 percent, a $13 advance to $1,652.60 per troy ounce.
Applications for jobless benefits in the U.S. have been progressively gaining during the past few weeks, The Associated Press reports. As a follow to months of declines in the unemployment rate, the slowdown suggests hiring might be on the wane.