Gold and silver finished higher Thursday, as investors awaited the government's monthly unemployment report on Friday.
Gold for August delivery rose $17.30 to settle at $1,415.80 an ounce. July silver gained 23.5 cents to $22.71 an ounce.
Investors found encouraging signs in the weekly jobs report that came out Thursday. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, a level consistent with steady job growth. The monthly report is expected to show the unemployment rate remained at a four-year low of 7.5 percent.
July Platinum ended the day up $18.70 at $1,529.30 an ounce. September Palladium rose $5.85 to $762.30. July copper was down 5.25 cents to $3.3190 a pound.
Grains were mixed, with wheat and soybeans lower. Corn was higher. July wheat lost 3.75 cents to $6.9775 a bushel and soybeans gave up 4.75 cents a bushel to $5.4825. Corn added 6 cents to $5.4825 per bushel.
Benchmark crude oil futures ended at $94.76 per barrel, up $1.02. Natural gas lost 17 cents to settle at $3.83 per thousand cubic feet. The Energy Department said the nation's natural gas supplies rose more than analysts expected last week.
Gasoline contracts rose 3 cents to $2.85 a gallon, and heating oil added 2 cents to $2.87 a gallon.
- Commodity Markets