Gold and silver are finishing higher Thursday, as investors await the government's monthly unemployment report on Friday.

Gold for August delivery rose $17.30 to settle at $14.15.80 an ounce. July silver gained 23.5 cents to $22.71 an ounce.

Investors found encouraging signs in the weekly jobs report that came out Thursday. The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, a level consistent with steady job growth. The monthly report is expected to show the unemployment rate remained at a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

Grains were mixed, with wheat and soybeans lower. Corn was higher.

Crude oil futures ended at $94.76, up $1.02. Natural gas lost 17 cents to settle at $3.83 per thousand cubic feet.

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