U.S. Gold Futures Rise on GDP

Thursday morning gold futures extended gains trading after the U.S. third-quarter gross domestic product reading came in higher than expected. That sends the U.S. dollar lower and equities futures higher.

In recent trading, December gold was up $7.20 at $1,037.70 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The U.S. economy expanded in the third quarter for the first time in more than a year thanks to a bounce back in consumer spending, but a weak labor market is expected to keep the recovery subdued.

Gross domestic product rose by a higher-than-expected seasonally adjusted 3.5% annual rate July through September, the Commerce Department said Thursday in its first estimate of third-quarter GDP, The Wall Street Journal reports.

It was also reported, futures measure current index values against their perceived future performance and offer an indication of how markets may open when trading begins.

"Really good news," said Dan Cook, senior market analyst at IG Markets, in an e-mail to CNNMoney.com. "After putting trillions into quantitative easing and stimulus we had to see a number like this. I am very glad it came out positive and I think the markets should really be optimistic today and could reverse some of the losses we have seen lately."

Investors appeared ready to dip back into the market after Wednesday's slump. The Dow finished the session down 1.2% and the Nasdaq tumbled 2.7% amid worries about the strength of the economic recovery, CNNMoney.com reports.

The cheer over the better-than-expected GDP for the third quarter puts U.S. stocks in the direction of opening higher, possibly helping snapping their losing streak this week. The Dow has posted three triple-digit losses in four sessions as investors have begun shying away from riskier assets.

The rise in GDP was the first since the second quarter of 2008. It served as an unofficial confirmation that the longest and deepest recession since the Great Depression has ended. The purveyor of the official word on recessions, the National Bureau of Economic Research, declared the slump began in December 2007. The private, non-profit research group has yet to announce an ending date.

Meanwhile, initial claims for jobless benefits declined by 1,000 to 530,000 in the week ended Oct. 24. The previous week's level was unrevised at 531,000. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires had expected a larger decrease of 6,000 claims.

The four-week moving average of new claims, which aims to smooth volatility in the data, fell by 6,000 to 526,250 from the previous week's unrevised figure of 532,250. That is the lowest level since Jan. 10 , The Wall Street Journal reports .

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