Gold and Silver Climb Higher After Economic Data

On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery climbed $9.10 higher to settle at $1,749.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures jumped 55 cents to close at $33.81.  The U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) gave a boost to precious metals as the index declined after newly released economic data.

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Although U.S. manufacturing grew at its fastest pace in seven months in January, the index still missed expectations.  The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index rose to 54.1, compared to consensus estimates of 54.5.  Orders and export demand picked up, but while factory production was led by inventory rebuilding at the end of 2011.

The ADP National Employment Report today showed the pace of job creation in the U.S. to be slowing, with the private sector reportedly adding 170,000 workers in January following a revised 292,000 rise in December that was smaller than previously reported.

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As slowing growth and elevated unemployment levels are likely to prompt even more Fed action, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) edged .15 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) popped nearly 2 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold (NYSE:FCX) both gained about .50 percent.  However, Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) increased about .25 percent as shares were downgraded from Buy to Hold at Stifel Nicolaus.  Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) gained 1.9 percent and .80 percent, respectively.

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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