Both precious metals climbed higher as the pace of growth in U.S. manufacturing increased last month. The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity rose to 53.4, compared to 52.4 in February. Economists were expecting a reading of about 53.0.
U.S. construction spending decreased 1.1 percent to an annual rate of $808.86 billion, the lowest level since October, according to the Commerce Department. Exports also decreased from 54.9 to 54.5.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained .60 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) popped 2.3 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) both increased more than 2 percent. Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as First Majestic (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) jumped 3.2 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS
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