Gold futures inched higher Thursday, looking to score their first gain in five sessions after settling a day earlier at the lowest since June and as a bearish pattern materialized in the commodity’s price chart.

Prices for the yellow metal for April delivery GC00, +0.09% GCH21, +0.11% were up $1.30, or nearly 0.1%, to trade at $1,774.10 an ounce, after bullion fell 1.5% on Wednesday and marked its lowest settlement since around June, based on the most-active contract.

On Wednesday, the most-active gold futures contract also registered its first “death cross” since June 2018, according to Dow Jones Market Data, with the 50-day moving average at $1,856.46 and the 200-day moving average at $1,857.67.

A death cross occurs when the 50-day moving average crosses below the 200-DMA, which is widely viewed as a dividing line between longer-term uptrends and downtrends.

“Gold has got hit hard the last couple trading sessions because of the rising bond yields and ongoing recovery in the U.S. dollar,” James Hatzigiannis, chief market strategist at Ploutus Capital Advisors, told MarketWatch. The recent bitcoin craze may have also taken some interest away from gold into crypto currencies, he said.

“There are just much more attractive assets at this point,” said Hatzigiannis. “Really, the only way for gold to break through that $1,800 psychological level is for yields to calm down and actual hard confirmations that the pandemic is entering its final leg.” 

Still,  he said he really likes gold right now, “in terms of value buying in the very short term.”  Silver, however, “is much more attractive to us in the long term.”

Silver for March delivery SI00, -0.90% SIH21, -0.90% fell 23 cents, or 0.8%, to trade at $27.085 an ounce, following a decline of less than 0.1% on Wednesday.

Commodity dealers were also digesting the latest U.S. economic reports. Weekly jobless claims rose in mid-February to a four-week high of 861,000, underscoring that Americans are still losing their jobs nearly a year after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

New-home construction fell to a seasonally-adjusted annual rate of 1.58 million in January, down 6% from the previous month’s revised figure, while the Philadelphia Federal Reserve’s gauge of regional business activity moderated in February, to 23.1 from 26.5 in the prior month.

On Comex, copper futures were on track to settle at its highest since 2012, according to FactSet data. March copper HGH21, +1.83% rose 1.9% to $3.8915 a pound.

The “red industrial metal is surging on ideas of strong demand in the coming months as major economies shift into high gear with the pandemic likely tamped down,” said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com.

Among other metals Thursday, April platinum PLJ21, +1.08% added 0.8% to $1,268.20 an ounce, but March palladium PAH21, -1.06% fell 1.3% to $2,339.50 an ounce.

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