Precious Metals Decline on Upbeat Economic Reports

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On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — fell $5.90 to close at $1,412.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures dropped 30 cents to finish at $24.14.

Both precious metals declined as positive economic reports kept a September “taper” on the Federal Reserve’s table. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, the economy expanded at an annual rate of 2.5 percent in the second quarter, compared to the initial estimate of only 1.7 percent. On average, economists expected a rate of 2.2 percent.

Alongside consumer spending, rising exports and real estate spending helped boost second-quarter numbers even as lower government spending acted as a drag. But the primary reason for the large upward revision was a better trade balance, according to Paul Ashworth, the chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics. As he told CNN, the U.S. exported more and imported less than the Commerce Department previously estimated.

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Adding to the optimism, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits declined by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 331,000, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. That was slightly better than expected.

By the end of Thursday trading, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) dipped 0.6 percent while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) fell 1.8 percent. However, gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) both increased more than 1.5 percent. Shares of First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) finished the day only slightly in the red.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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