Gold (GLD) and Silver (SLV) Continue to March Higher

On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery increased $7.40 to settle at $1,620.10 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures edged 20 cents higher to settle at $29.30.

The private sector added a seasonally adjusted 325,000 jobs in December, according to an ADP (NASDAQ:ADP) report issued on Thursday, up from 204,000 in November. Last month’s gain marked the largest monthly gain since December 2010, and far surpassed economists’ forecasts.

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Small businesses, categorized as those with fewer than 50 employees, accounted for nearly half of all gains, hiring 148,000 people in December. Medium-sized companies hired 140,000 new workers, while large companies with over 500 employees added 37,000 to their payrolls.  Though ADP only tracks private-sector payrolls, today’s report will be followed on Friday with the government’s employment report, which covers both public- and private-sector jobs.

The positive jobs report helped to ease gains in precious metals (NYSEARCA:DBP).  “The improvement in the U.S. job situation has helped pare gold’s gains,” said Mark O’Byrne, executive director at GoldCore. “It has led to gold’s fall despite renewed worries about contagion in the euro zone.”  However, the decline in gold and silver did not last long.  In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained .76 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) increased .67 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as AngloGold (NYSE:AU) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) gained .46 percent and .26 percent, respectively.  Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) First Majestic (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both gained about 2 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