CHICAGO, March 13 (Xinhua) -- Gold futures on the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose for the fourth session in a row to a new six-month high on Thursday.
The most active gold contract for April delivery rose 1.9 U.S. dollars, or 0.14 percent, to settle at 1,372.4 dollars per ounce.
U.S. economic data released Thursday was supportive of gold. U. S. weekly jobless claims dropped to a three-month low of 315,000 and U.S. retail sales rose 0.3 percent in February, the first gain in three months.
The positive U.S. economic data, however, gave way to escalated tension in Ukraine and downbeat economic data from China. Market analysts believe that Ukraine is a big factor preventing gold prices from falling at present.
China's industrial output in January-February went up 8.6 percent year on year, falling short of market expectation of 9.5 percent and the retail sales were up 11.8 percent year on year, missing a 13.5-percent gain forecast.
Analysts feared that economic slowdown in China may affect global economic growth.
Some market analysts hold that gold may keep upward trend against current political background, while others insist gold is unlikely to go up further unless it stands above 1,376 dollars per ounce.
Silver for May delivery dropped 16 cents, or 0.75 percent, to close at 21.198 dollars per ounce. Platinum for April delivery climbed 3.1 dollars, or 0.21 percent, to close at 1,479.4 dollars per ounce.