Gold prices re-approached five-year lows on Thursday, after data showed that the number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell to the lowest level since November 1973, boosting optimism over the health of the economy and supporting the case for a U.S. interest rate hike this year. Gold futures for August delivery on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange traded at $1,095.40 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours, up $4.10, or 0.38%. Prices hit an intraday peak of $1,104.50. A day earlier, gold fell to $1,085.60 before recovering mildly to close at $1,091.50, down $12.00, or 1.09%. Prices of the precious metal plunged to a five-year low of $1,080.00 on Monday. The Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits fell by 26,000 last week to 255,000. Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to fall by 1,000 to 280,000 last week. First-time jobless claims have held below the 300,000-level for 20 consecutive weeks, which is usually associated with a firming labor market. Gold has been under heavy selling pressure in recent months amid speculation the Fed will raise interest rates for the first time in eight years as soon as September. Gold, which yields nothing and costs money to hold, is seen as a less attractive investment during times of rising interest rates.