Gold and Silver Finish Week at New 2012 Highs

On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery increased $5.50 to settle at $1,732.20 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures edged 5 cents higher to close at $33.79.  Both precious metals finished the week at fresh 7-week highs.  “Gold looks great in the charts and a lot of people are taking it as a sign to buy gold,” said Adam Klopfenstein, a market strategist with Archer Financial Services.

Gold and silver prices surged this week as the Federal Reserve announced plans to keep interest rates at record lows until at least late 2014.  In addition, Congress raised the debt ceiling to from $15.2 trillion to $16.4 trillion on Thursday.

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GDP data released on Friday also suggests that the economy is far from a recovery, which will provide officials with more reasoning for additional stimulus measures.  While the U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace since 2010, the details of the report raise more uncertainties about the expansion.  Consumer spending, which accounts for roughly 70 percent of demand in the U.S. economy, increased 2 percent, below estimates of 2.4 percent.  This is concerning as the fourth quarter was touted as the return of the consumer.  Furthermore, nonresidential fixed investment only increased 1.7 percent, compared to 15.7 percent in the third quarter.  A key factor in the 2.8 percent growth rate was a rebuilding of inventories by companies.

As the U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) reached new lows for the year, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) and iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) increased .90 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as AngloGold (NYSE:AU) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) gained 2.4 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.  Meanwhile, silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) jumped more than 2 percent.  Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) surged almost 6 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