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Gold, Silver Fall 1% on U.S. Jobs Data, Fed Stimulus Bets

Gold and silver fell 1 percent after fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, easing pressure on the Federal Reserve to maintain stimulus measures to bolster the economy.

Jobless claims dropped to 334,000 in the week ended June 8 from 346,000 a week earlier, according to government data. U.S. retail sales rose more than forecast in May, a separate report showed today. Gold has fallen 18 percent this year amid concern that Fed may scale back debt purchases as the economy gains.

“The jobless numbers lend support to the idea that the Fed will slow the pace of the stimulus,” Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “The overall sentiment remains bearish.”

Gold futures for August delivery declined $14.20 to settle at $1,377.80 an ounce at 1:38 p.m. on Comex in New York. The 60-day historical volatility was 28.88 percent, the highest since December 2011. Trading was 35 percent below the 100-day average for this time, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Silver futures for July delivery dropped 21.3 cents to $21.583 an ounce on the Comex. The price has tumbled 29 percent this year.

On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for July delivery slumped 2.4 percent to $1,447.10 an ounce, the biggest drop since May 1. Trading was 67 percent higher than the 100-day average, according to Bloomberg data.

Palladium futures for September delivery plunged 3.4 percent to $731.05 an ounce, the largest decline since April 15.

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