Both precious metals traded rather calmly in a market that was quiet after disappointing economic points. The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped by 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 382,000 for the week ended September 15, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters were expecting claims to decline to 375,000. Furthermore, the prior week was revised up to 385,000 from 382,000.
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The Conference Board also announced that its leading indicator index fell in August for the second time in three months. It declined 0.1 percent last month, after rising 0.5 percent in July and falling 0.5 percent in June. The recent weakness came from a pullback in manufacturing orders.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) slipped 0.15 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) edged 0.07 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) both fell more than 1 percent. Meanwhile, Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) and First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) gained 1.21 percent and 0.94 percent, respectively.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS