NEW YORK — The dollar jumped in fairly active trading Thursday, buoyed by an unexpectedly strong advance in the U.S. government's main gauge of future economic activity. Gold prices rose in New York, after holding steady in Europe. Bullion was quoted at $343.50 an ounce at 4 p.m. EDT at Republic National Bank, up $1 from Wednesday's bid.
Early in the day, the Commerce Department reported that its Index of Leading Indicators shot up 1.5% in April, the best showing in nearly three years and the third solid gain in a row.
"What we've basically seen is a very sharp reaction to better-than-expected economic numbers this morning for the U.S. index of economic indicators," said Wayne Reckhow, assistant vice president at Security Pacific Corp. in New York. "The indicator number was a far better number than had been expected."
In Tokyo, where trading ends as Europe's business day begins, the dollar closed at 169.70 yen, up from 168.90 yen Wednesday.