Gold and Silver Finish Week on Low Note

On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery, the most active contract, edged 20 cents higher to settle at $1,697 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March declined 6 cents to close at $32.30.

Both precious metals finished the week on a quiet note, as the Labor Department reported the consumer price index decreased 0.3 percent last month. The drop was greater than the 0.2 percent drop estimated by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, and it was the first decrease in the index since May. In October, a 0.1 percent gain was recorded.

However, the lower inflation reading allows the central bank more room to continue its grand monetary easing experiment. “The inflation data continues to be benign and there is very little in the way of price pressures in the economy,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange, according to Reuters. “That therefore justifies the Federal Reserve’s action to keep a very accommodative monetary policy.”

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) finished 0.15 percent in the red, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) fell 1.14 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) both edged about 0.40 percent lower. However, silver miners Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) jumped more than 2 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS