Gold (GLD) Slips While Silver (SLV) Gains

On Monday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery decreased $8.70 to settle at $1,608.10 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures increased 10 cents to settle at $28.78.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy meet on Monday to discuss how to promote growth in the euro zone and to finalize a deal for closer budgetary ties within the single-currency union. They may also discuss a financial transaction levy, known as the “Tobin tax”, and options for boosting employment.

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The euro gained as the leaders of the 17-nation currency union’s two biggest economies met, snapping a three-day decline that left the euro at a 16-month low against the dollar at the end of last week.  Both employment and the Tobin tax are pressing issues for Sarkozy, who faces an election in less than four months. France has to contend with British resistance of the transaction tax, with the U.K. only willing to agree to it if adopted on a global scale so as not to give London a competitive disadvantage, as well as the highest level of jobless claims in 12 years as the country expects a record trade deficit for 2011.

In afternoon trading, The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) slipped .38 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained .90 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) traded down .06 percent, while Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) declined by .67 percent.  Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as First Majestic (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) gained .88 percent and 1.26 percent, respectively.

Shares of Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) jumped almost 2 percent after announcing a five-year gold production forecast that included an increase of 70 percent to 4.2 million ounces in 2016.  Total gold production for 2011 came in at 2.51 million ounces.  “Very strong gold production in the fourth quarter of 2011 underscores the overall high quality of our mine portfolio,” said Chuck Jeannes, President and Chief Executive Officer. “Peñasquito met its production target and continued to emerge as the linchpin of our asset base in 2011, with strong operating cash flow in just its first full year of production.”

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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