Gold Prices Slide to Fresh 5-Week Lows as Dollar Climbs After ECB By

© Reuters. – Gold prices fell to a five-week low on Thursday, as the U.S. dollar advanced after the offered banks new rounds of multi-year cash, known as TLTROs, and pushed out the timing of its first post-crisis rate hike to next year.

Comex were down $3.25, or 0.25%, at $1,284.35 a troy ounce by 9:05AM ET (14:05 GMT), after falling as low as $1,281.35, its worst level since Jan. 25.

Meanwhile, was down 0.2% at $1,283.90 per ounce.

While investors had long stopped pricing in an ECB rate hike this year, few were expecting the bank to change its policy message, causing the euro to fall after the announcement. It was last down 0.5% at $1.1246, the lowest since Feb. 15.

The , which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, jumped 0.4% to 97.24, the highest since Nov. 28.

A stronger U.S. dollar usually weighs on gold, as it dampens the metal’s appeal as an alternative asset and makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Meanwhile, data released earlier showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell by 3,000 last week to . Economists had expected weekly jobless claims to fall by 1,000 to 225,000 from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 226,000.

The U.S. nonfarm payrolls report on Friday could provide further signals on the strength of the economy and how it would affect the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy.

Gold is highly sensitive to U.S. interest rates because higher rates increase the opportunity cost of holding non-yielding bullion and boost the dollar.

In other metals trading, were down 3.8 cents, or 0.25%, at $15.04 a troy ounce, the lowest since Dec. 27.

Meanwhile, inched up 0.2% to $1,490.15 an ounce, while fell 0.3% to $825.70 an ounce.

— Reuters contributed to this report

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