Both precious metals fully erased losses seen after Wednesday’s FOMC minutes release, as markets believe Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will step in with more easing if markets stumble. The U.S. dollar index, which closed the prior day at 79.06, declined to as low as 78.82 on Thursday.
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Further adding to additional easing expectations, is the latest jobless claims report. The Labor Department reported that new U.S. claims for unemployment only declined by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000. The prior week’s number was revised up to 389,000. The four-week moving average for new claims hit 381,750, its highest level since the beginning of January.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) increased .86 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) climbed 1.4 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and AngloGold Ashanti (NYSE:AU) increased .80 percent and .53 percent, respectively. Silver names such as Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) and First Majestic (NYSE:AG) both jumped more than 2 percent.
Shares of Goldcorp Inc. (NYSE:GG) declined 6.3 percent after reporting a lower-than-expected first quarter profit. Adjusted earnings per share came in at 50 cents, compared to estimates of 54 cents per share. “We were clearly a bit disappointed with the production performance, I feel like we left an opportunity on the table,” said Chief Executive Chuck Jeannes, according to Reuters.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS