RTTNews - After moving higher over the course of the two previous sessions, the price of gold moved back to the downside during trading on Thursday. Some upbeat economic data may have inspired traders to move their money out of the relative safety of gold.

Gold for December delivery eventually closed down $3.10 at $941.70 an ounce after falling as low as $938.50 an ounce in early trading. Nonetheless, the price of the precious metal remained off the more than two-week closing low set on Monday.

The pullback by the price of gold may have been partly due to the release of a report from the Philadelphia Federal Reserve showing an unexpected expansion in manufacturing activity in the mid-Atlantic region in the month of August.

The Philly Fed said its index of current activity rose to 4.2 in August from a negative 7.5 in July, with a positive reading indicating growth in the sector. Economists had been expecting a more modest increase to a negative 2.0.

With the bigger than expected increase, the index rose above zero for the first time since September of 2008 and reached its highest level since November of 2007.

The Conference Board also released a report showing that its leading economic indicators index rose for the fourth consecutive month in July, helping traders to shrug off a Labor Department report showing an unexpected increase in weekly jobless claims.

In other metals trading, silver for September delivery edged up $0.005 to $13.88 an ounce, while copper for September delivery $0.019 to $2.7415 a pound.

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