CHICAGO, Feb. 13 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange closed at the highest level in more than three months Thursday on disappointing U.S. economic figures.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 5.1 U.S. dollars, or 0.39 percent, to settle at 1,300.1 dollars per ounce. Gold prices have so far climbed for seven sessions in a row for a total gain of nearly 4 percent.
U.S. Commerce Department said Thursday that retail sales registered a seasonally adjusted drop of 0.4 percent in January, worse than a 0.1-percent fall expected by economists.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the initial jobless claims climbed by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000 in the week ending Feb. 8, higher than market expectation of 330,000.
The disappointing economic figures led to a weaker U.S. dollar, which in turn boosted safe haven gold.
Investors are also waiting for Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen's hearing with the Senate Banking Committee, which was initially scheduled for Thursday but was postponed due to snowstorm.
Under current circumstances, some market analysts predict that gold will head to at least 1,307 dollars, while others believe that most of the recent rebounds is short covering and gold prices may fall toward 1,000 dollars.
Silver for March delivery gained 5.4 cents, or 0.27 percent, to close at 20.395 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery climbed 9.3 dollars, or 0.66 percent, to close at 1,416.6 dollars per ounce.