March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Gold futures rose for the fifth time in six sessions as a decline by the dollar boosted demand for the precious metal as an alternative investment
The greenback dropped as much as 0.6 percent against a basket of currencies after reaching the highest since August. The number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits averaged 346,750 in the past four weeks, the lowest since March 2008, government data showed today. Last month, gold fell 5 percent as the dollar gained 3.5 percent.
“We saw a dollar selloff after the better-than-expected jobs numbers and a corresponding rise in gold,” Scott Gardner, who helps manage $400 million at Verdmont Capital SA in Panama City, said in a telephone interview.
Gold futures for April delivery advanced 0.1 percent to settle at $1,590.70 an ounce at 1:37 p.m. on the Comex in New York. Earlier, the price dropped as much as 0.8 percent on concern that the Federal Reserve may wind down monthly purchases of debt. The metal has declined 3.2 percent in the past 12 months.
Silver futures for May delivery fell 0.5 percent to $28.807 an ounce. The price has dropped 4.7 percent this year.
On the New York Mercantile Exchange, platinum futures for April delivery slid 0.2 percent to $1,589.80 an ounce. Earlier, the metal touched $1,578.50, the lowest since March 6.
Palladium futures for June delivery declined 0.1 percent to $770.75 an ounce. The price fell for the fourth straight session, the longest slump in nine weeks.
--Editors: Patrick McKiernan, Millie Munshi