CHICAGO, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange fell Thursday on a stronger U. S. dollar.
The most active gold contract for February delivery lost 14.2 dollars, or 0.84 percent, to settle at 1,674.6 dollars per ounce.
The U.S. Labor Department said Thursday that initial jobless claims climbed by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 in the week ended December 29, a five-week high.
Upon the disappointing data, the dollar index rose to 80.132 from 79.847 on Wednesday, making the precious metal more expensive for other currency holders.
In the meantime, investors were looking forward to the minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's December meeting, which was due for release shortly after Thursday's Comex close.
HSBC has cut its average gold price outlook for 2013 from 1,850 dollars to 1,760 dollars, adding to gold market's bearish mood.
Market analysts held that gold may be negatively affected in the coming months as the Indian Government is considering to increase import duties on gold. It is expected that India's import duty on gold may be increased from 4 percent to 6 percent.
Silver for March delivery dropped 28.7 cents, or 0.93 percent, to close at 30.72 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery rose 11.9 dollars, or 0.76 percent, to close at 1,579.9 dollars per ounce.