RTTNews - Gold rose on Thursday as its hedge appeal received a boost from a weaker U.S. dollar. Traders considered a slew of generally disappointing economic news and also reacted to yesterday's Fed decision.

December-stamped gold futures settled at $954.70 an ounce, up $4 on the session. Prices reached as high as $963.10.

The dollar extended its recent downward trend against the euro as gross domestic product data showed the German and French economies have emerged from the recession. The greenback was little-changed amid choppy trading with the pound. Gold often moves opposite the dollar because of the precious metal's hedge value.

A Commerce Department report showed that retail sales edged down 0.1 percent in July following an upwardly revised 0.8 percent increase in the previous month. The decrease surprises economists, who had expected sales to increase by 0.8 percent compared to the 0.6 percent increase originally reported for June.

The Labor Department report showed that import prices fell 0.7 percent in July following a 2.6 percent increase in prices in June. Export prices edged down 0.3 percent in July after rising 1.0 percent in the previous month.

A separate Labor Department report showed that initial jobless claims edged up to 558,000 from the previous week's revised figured of 554,000. Economists had been expecting claims to slip to 545,000 from the 550,000 originally reported for the previous week.

A Commerce Department report showed that business inventories fell 1.1 percent in June followed a revised 1.2 percent decrease in May. Economists had been expecting inventories to fall by 0.9 percent compared to the 1.0 percent decrease originally reported for the previous month.

Consumer price index data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET for July. CPI is expected to come in unchanged after rising 0.7% last month. Core CPI is forecast to increase 0.1% after rising 0.2% in June.

Industrial production data for July is expected at 9:15 a.m. ET. A rise of 0.4% is forecast for July, compared to a drop of 0.4% in June.

The preliminary consumer sentiment report from the University of Michigan and Reuters is expected a little before 10 a.m. ET. A reading of 69.0 is expected in August, compared to 66.0 in July.

On Wednesday, gold climbed to $952.50 per ounce, up $4.90 on the session. Prices touched as high as $954.40 earlier in the day.

For comments and feedback: contact editorial@rttnews.com