On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for August delivery jumped $24.10 to settle at $1,621.80 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures popped 78 cents to close at $28.80.

Both precious metals climbed higher today as the U.S. dollar index declined to as low as 81.70. Meanwhile, the euro gained and the Australian dollar rose to a fresh 5-week high as the country’s central bank decided to leave its key overnight lending rate unchanged.

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Also boosting gold is the expectation that the European Central Bank will lower interest rates by at least 0.25 percent. Investors “are coming to the conclusion that the time is right for [the European Central Bank] to lower interest rates,” said James Cordier, a portfolio manager with Optionseller.com.

At the end of the shortened trading day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed 1.53 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) posted a 2.84 percent gain. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) surged nearly 5 percent. Silver names such as Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) and First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) jumped 5.50 percent and 6.02 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS