Gold and Silver Decline After Jobless Claims, Fed Chatter

On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery, the most active contract, decreased $5.10 to close at $1,468.60 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for July dipped 2 cents to finish at $23.91.

Both precious metals edged slightly lower as the number of Americans filing jobless claims fell by 4,000 to 320,000 in the week ended May 4. This is the lowest level for claims since January 2008, according to the Labor Department. The four-week average declined to 336,750, its best level since November 2007.

Furthermore, central bankers continue to debate the effectiveness of quantitative easing. Philadelphia Fed President Charles Plosser tells Bloomberg television, “I’ve never felt that our asset purchases have been that effective in addressing what’s the biggest problem we face in this country, which is the employment market and the labor market. I’d like to stop but I would particularly like to see us begin to slow the pace down, gradually ease our way out of this if we possibly can.”

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell 1.16 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) decreased 1 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) both dropped more than 2 percent. Silver miner (NYSEARCA:SIL) Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) declined 3.5 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS