On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, decreased $7.50 to settle at $1,671.30 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March fell 47 cents to close at $31.40.
Both precious metals declined as the U.S. dollar index moved higher against the euro. The European Central Bank decided to leave its key interest rate at a record low of 0.75 percent, but said it will monitor the effects of a strengthening euro, leaving the door open for a future interest rate cut.
ECB President Mario Draghi, explains, “The exchange rate is not a policy target, but it is important for growth and price stability and we certainly want to see whether the appreciation is sustained and will alter our risk assessment as far as price stability is concerned.”
At the beginning of February, the euro rose to $1.3711, its highest level in over a year. However, the 17-nation currency declined to $1.3395 on Thursday, in one of its worst weeks in recent years.
In afternoon trading, SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) edged 0.40 percent lower, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) declined 1.15 percent. However, gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) managed to gain 1.15 percent and 0.30 percent, respectively. Silver names such as Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) both increased nearly 1 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS