Consumer prices were flat in November as a decline in fuel prices was offset by rising food prices. The U.S. Department of Labor reported on Friday that its Consumer Price Index was unchanged last month. Economists had expected a 0.1 percent rise. Prices rose 3.4 percent in the 12 months through November, off from a 3-year high of 3.9 percent in September.
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The figures support a view expressed earlier this week by the Federal Open Market Committee that inflation is easing, opening up the possibility of additional monetary policy accommodation by the Fed. However, some of the data in today’s report could give policy-makers cause for concern. Core prices, which exclude volatile food and energy prices, climbed 0.2 percent in November, and were up 2.2 percent in the 12 months through November, more than the 2.1 percent in October.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Shares Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 1.8 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) climbed almost 2 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) climbed 2.4 percent higher. Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) also participated in the rebound as First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) increased more than 5 percent, and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) gained 4.5 percent. Shares of Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL), the largest silver miner in the U.S., increased 1.5 percent as the company said a rock burst at its Lucky Friday mine in Idaho was unrelated to two accidents which occurred earlier in the year. The seven miners injured in the latest incident are expected to make a full recovery.
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