On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December delivery increased $10.70 to settle at $1,727.20 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) jumped 66 cents to close at $34.35. It was gold’s first gain of the week.

Both precious climbed higher on modest dollar weakness, as the two political parties in Washington continue to attract headlines over the fiscal cliff. House Speaker John Boehner said, “Based on where we stand today-first, despite the claims that the President supports a balanced approach, the Democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. Secondly, no substantive progress have been made in the talks between the White House and the House [of Representatives] over the last two weeks.”

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Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid shot back with, “We’re still waiting for a serious offer from the Republicans. Now is the time for Republicans to move past this ‘happy talk’ about revenues, and put specifics on the table…We’re not going to kick the can down the road.”

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 0.45 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained 1.45 percent. However, gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) both traded lower. Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) jumped 4.0 percent, while First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Silver Wheaton edged about 0.30 percent higher.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS