Gold (GLD) and Silver (SLV) Start 2012 With a Bang

On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery increased $33.70 to settle at $1,600.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures surged $1.66 to settle at $29.57.  It was gold’s best close since December 23.

The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector accelerated in December to its fastest in six months, according to an industry report released on Tuesday.

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Bolstered by gains in production and orders, holiday sales, lean inventories, and increasing demand for autos, the industry that accounts for about 12 percent of the U.S. economy expanded at its fastest pace since June 2011 last month, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s factory index, which climbed to 53.9 last month from 52.7 in November. Fifty is the dividing line between growth and contraction.

In afternoon trading, the U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) declined as precious metals (NYSEARCA:DBP) rallied.  The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 2.2 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) jumped more than 6 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) increased 3.25 percent and 2.3 percent, respectively.  Silver miner (NYSEARCA:SIL) Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) gained 3 percent, while First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) jumped 4.5 percent.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com

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