CHICAGO, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped Thursday on upbeat economic data.
The most active gold contract for December delivery dropped 3.1 dollars, or 0.23 percent, to settle at 1,317.6 dollars per ounce.
Gold first dropped after U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of new applications for unemployment benefits rose 1,000 to 308,000 in the week ending Sept. 28, lower than 313,000 expected by the market, whereas the layoffs remained at post-recession lows.
The precious metal then pared some losses after the Institute for Supply Management posted a fall in its services index from 58. 6 percent in August to 54.4 percent in September.
President Barack Obama met with congressional leaders Wednesday evening, but failed to clinch a deal to reopen the government. If U.S. government shutdown extends into next week, gold may rise, market analysts say.
A foreseeable booster to gold is that India's demand for gold will rise as the country enters into festive season from Saturday.
Silver for December delivery slipped 11.1 cents, or 0.51 percent, to close at 21.786 dollars per ounce. Platinum for January delivery shed 20.1 dollars, or 1.44 percent, to close at 1, 373.3 dollars per ounce.