On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — increased $10.10 to close at $1,371 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for September jumped 39 cents to finish at $23.32.
Both precious metals received buying support as consumer sentiment missed estimates by the worst amount on record. According to Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s preliminary reading, consumer sentiment plunged to 80 compared to June’s final reading of 85.1.
With economists expecting the index to reach an average of 85.5 this month, it was the first time consumer sentiment fell below estimates this year. In fact, the preliminary reading is the worst miss since records began in 1999. During the last recession, the index averaged slightly above 64. In the five years before the financial crisis, it averaged almost 90.
As the chart below shows, precious metals posted a very strong week. The price of gold gained more than 4 percent while silver surged 14 percent. It was gold’s best week of the year and silver’s best week since 2008. In comparison, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) about 2 percent to log its worst week of 2013.
By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) increased 0.70 percent while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained 0.90 percent. However, gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) declined 2.4 percent and 1.8 percent, respectively. Shares of First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) dropped more than 3 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS