Gold rose to a two-week high, rebounding from the worst year in three decades, as a drop to a six-month low was seen spurring physical purchases and prompting some investors to reverse bearish bets. Bullion slid 28% last year, the most since 1981, and reached $1,181.40 per ounce on December 31, the lowest since a 34-month low set in June. Gold ended a 12-year bull run and assets in bullion-backed exchange-traded products shrank for the first time since the first fund was introduced in 2003, as investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value. U.S. data on December 31 showed consumer sentiment and home prices climbed, underscoring the confidence expressed by the Federal Reserve when it said it will slow bond purchases this month amid an improving economy.
In the week ending December 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 339K, a decrease of 2K from the previous week's revised figure of 341K. The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2% for the week ending December 21, unchanged from the prior week's un-revised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending December 21 was 2,833K, a decrease of 98K from the preceding week's revised level of 2,931K.