Gold and Silver Edge Higher After Bernanke Addresses Congress

On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery edged $3.30 higher to settle at $1,650.30 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures gained 39 cents to close at $32.23.

Both precious metals wavered in trading as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed Congress today.  He explained that the central bank is ready to provide more  easing if financial conditions warranted it.

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“The Federal Reserve will continue to monitor the situation closely, work with our financial institutions and foreign counterparts to enhance the resilience of our financial system, and be ready to use our tools to help stabilize U.S. markets should the situation require such action,” said Bernanke.  The U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) also edged slightly higher on Bernanke’s comments.

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained .24 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) increased .40 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as AngloGold (NYSE:AU) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) both edged slightly lower, while Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) jumped nearly 1 percent.  Silver Wheaton Corp. (NYSE:SLW) jumped 1.5 percent.  Meanwhile, First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) declined about .80 percent.

Shares of Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) traded mostly flat, after recently announcing full year 2011 results.  Net earnings for the company came in at $18.8 million (22 cents per share), compared to a $20.4 million loss in 2010.  Chief Executive Officer Bradford Cooke said, “Endeavour delivered yet another year of record financial, operating and exploration performance in 2011.”

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at