Gold, Silver Prices Mixed On Hopeful Economic Data
Stronger economic numbers lift silver while holding gold close to the flat line.

Gold and silver prices were mixed higher Friday as new economic data on personal income, personal spending, durable goods orders and sales of new single-family homes provided impetus for a move higher across most asset classes.

Spot gold was off just 0.1% to $1,608.50 an ounce, while silver was up 0.9% to $29.25 an ounce.

November disposable personal income increased by a less-than-expected $8.5 billion, or 0.1% in November, as small gains were registered in wages and salaries, and real personal consumption expenditures also rose a less-than-expected 0.1% ($13.1 billion), the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reported.

New orders for durable goods increased 3.8%, the fourth increase in the last five months. New orders, excluding transportation, rose 0.3%, while new orders, excluding defense, rose 3.7%. Transportation orders had the largest increase – 14.7% – following decreases in September and October.

Sales of new single-family homes rose 315,000 in November, a 1.6% month-over-month and 9.8% year-over-year gain,. The median sales price was $214,900 and the average sales price was $242,000.

The price of gold bullion was little changed in London morning trading, ending a shortened holiday trading session up 0.6% on the week, according to BullionVault’s London Gold Market Report. “Our Hong Kong office observes that the Gold Price has gone up during the period between Christmas and New Year in eight of the last nine years (2004 being the exception),” the Mitsui London wrote in a market note, “[rising] by just over 2% on average.”

Goldman Sachs forecast an average gold price of $1,810 an ounce, Barclays forecast $2,000 and UBS forecast $2,050 for gold for 2012, according to Dublin-based GoldCore.

Turning to the exchanges, gold and silver trusts were trading higher.

The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) was up 0.2%.

The iShares Gold Trust (NYSE:IAU) was up around 0.3%.

The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) was around 0.5% higher.

Gold majors and the iShares Silver Miners ETF were higher, but the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF was down sharply.

The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDX) was 0.7% higher.

The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) was down 4.2%.

The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) was 0.7% higher.

Gold mining shares were broadly higher.

Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) had lost 0.2%.

Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was up 0.8%.

Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) was 0.7% higher.

Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was up 0.8%.

NovaGold Resources (AMEX:NG) was down 0.7%.

Silver mining shares were mostly higher.

Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE) was moving higher, up around 0.5%.

Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) was down more than 0.3%.

Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS) was up more than 0.1%.

Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) was showing gains of nearly 1.1%.

Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ:SSRI) was up 0.2%.

As of this writing, Andrew Burger did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Adrian Ash of BullionVault contributed to this report.

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