Gold on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange dipped modestly Thursday as investors look to end a record breaking year by taking some profits off the table before the holidays.
Gold futures for February delivery were down $11.50 to $,1375.90 an ounce in New York. Trade ranged from $1,374.30 to $1,389.00.

"It's not at all surprising that prices have moved down during these last couple sessions of 2010. The few traders and the funds that are left in the market are taking profits before Christmas eve," said a US-based gold trader, who added that gold will find support around the $1,365 area.

Nevertheless, it was a fairly busy day for macro news out of the US as data that's usually released on Friday was moved up one day.

Weekly unemployment claims were lower than expected at 420,000 compared to a forecast of 421,000, and followed last week's 420,000.

Personal income in November was in line with expectations at 0.3 percent and down from last month's 0.4 percent.

The US core durable goods orders increased by 2.4 percent in November, after falling by a revised 1.9 percent in October. Expectations has been for core durable goods orders to rise by 1.7 percent.

Overall durable goods orders, which include more volatile transportation and energy items, dropped for the second consecutive month in November, falling by 1.3 percent, after a revised 3.1 percent decline in October. Analysts had expected durable goods orders to fall by 1.0 percent in November.

"This data is too close to Christmas to really have much of an impact on commodity prices. Neither the unemployment nor durable good orders deviated far enough from expectations to cause a knee-jerk reaction," the trader said.

"Really, it would take additional shelling on the Korean peninsula or a significant deepening of the European debt crisis to move metal prices in a big way before the end of the year," he added.

However, due to the fairly upbeat durable goods numbers and continuing credit concerns in Europe, the dollar strengthened to a 2-week high of 1.3054 against the euro.

"The stronger dollar has put some (downward) pressure on gold but nothing to get up in arms over," the trader said.

Silver for March delivery in New York were down 27 cents to $29.12 an ounce. Palladium for March delivery on the Nymex was off $9.15 to $746.00 an ounce, while platinum for January delivery was down $16.9 at $1,714.00 an ounce.


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