Gold (GLD) Has Highest Close Since Mid-December, Silver (SLV) Surges $1

On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery jumped $23.40 to settle at $1,631.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures surged $1.03 to settle at $28.78.  It was the highest close for gold futures since December 13.

According to the Federal Reserve, consumer borrowing increased by $20.4 billion November, the most in a decade.  Credit card debt rose $5.6 billion in November, the most since March 2008, while a category that tracks auto loans increased $14.8 billion, close to July’s increase, which was the biggest since February 2005.

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Credit tumbled and the savings rate climbed during and immediately after the recession, but November marks the third consecutive monthly increase in overall borrowing in the United States.  However, wages did not keep pace with inflation last year, and many Americans are tapping into their savings or borrowing more as a result.  The savings rate in November was just 3.5 percent — the lowest since the recession began in December 2007. Borrowing has increased in six of the last nine months.

As the U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) declined, gold and silver climbed higher.  The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) increased 1.44 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained 3.63 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) jumped 2.20 percent and 3.18 percent, respectively.  Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as First Majestic (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour (NYSE:EXK) both gained more than 2 percent.

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Endeavour announced its seventh consecutive year of production growth in 2011.  Compared to 2010, silver production for the miner increased 14 percent to 3.7 million ounces, while gold production jumped 23 percent to almost 22,000 ounces.

Bradford Cooke, Chairman and CEO, commented, “Our operations team is to be congratulated for doing yet another outstanding job in 2011. Thanks to the successful completion of our Guanajuato mine and plant expansion to 1000 tonnes per day on time and budget, Endeavour continued its track record of meeting its production guidance and delivering growth for its shareholders.”

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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