Gold (GLD) and Silver (SLV) Edge Lower, Sprott Expects $2,000 Gold in 2012

On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery declined $5.40 to settle at $1,654.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures edged 3 cents lower to settle at $30.51.

Applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level since April 2008, the Labor Department reported today in Washington.  Jobless claims fell by 50,000 to 352,000 in the week ended January 14. A Labor Department official said the sharp decrease reflects the usual volatility seen during the beginning of the year.

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“Claims are always choppy around the start of a new year but there are simply very few industries left that still need to do any further labor cuts,” Russell Price, a senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc., said before the report. “Workers are slowly being added as demand has started to pick up a bit.”

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) declined .48 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) edged .10 percent higher.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) fell more than 2 percent.  Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and First Majestic (NYSE:AG) fell nearly 3 percent.

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Well-known billionaire precious metal investor Eric Sprott, said he expects gold prices to climb above $2,000 per ounce this year, and silver prices to trade above $50 per ounce.  He is also bullish on mining stocks.  In a recent interview with Reuters, Sprott explains, “I think there is more upside to the gold-mining stocks. Last year, the stocks were absolutely crushed when the price of gold went down. But when gold goes back up, the stocks will provide a better return.”

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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