By Diptendu Lahiri
(Reuters) - Gold prices were little changed on Thursday as a drop in jobless claims number in the United States took some shine off the precious metal, while fears of growing inflation and spike in cases of coronavirus infections limited loss.
Spot gold were little changed at $1,808.97 per ounce by 10:56 a.m. ET (1456 GMT). It climbed to its highest since September 2011 at $1,817.71 on Wednesday.
U.S. gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,813.50 per ounce.
"The fall in jobless claims number failed to repel the fears of a growing inflation due to negative real rates," said Ryan McKay, a commodity strategist at TD Securities
"Several central banks have put stimulus in place and kept interest rates really low to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic."
U.S. Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday raised fresh doubts about the durability of the U.S. recovery, while new business surveys highlighted developing risks from the relentless coronavirus pandemic.
Central banks worldwide have slashed interest rates in recent months, providing in some cases unprecedented amounts of stimulus to help soften the blow to the economy from the pandemic.
Stimulus tends to boost gold, which is considered a hedge against inflation and currency debasement.
Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in 42 of the 50 states over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis, while globally, cases exceeded 12 million.
Risk appetite got elevated after a declining trend in weekly jobless claims boosted U.S. stocks in morning trade.
"As long as COVID-19 stimulates concerns around another round of lockdown and slowing global growth, gold may remain in fashion despite rising stock markets," said FXTM analyst Lukman Otunuga.
Weakness below $1,800 point could trigger a decline back towards $1765, Otunuga added.
Among other metals, palladium climbed rose 1.8% to $1,950.07, while platinum was down 1.7% at $829.44.
Silver fell 0.3% to $18.72, having earlier hit its highest since September 2019 at $19.02.
(Reporting by Diptendu Lahiri and Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Marguerita Choy)