Both precious metals closed higher in the face of weak economic data. The Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for October edged slightly higher to 49.9, but still remains in contraction territory. It also missed estimates for the third consecutive month. Meanwhile, the employment index fell to 50.3 from 52.0, representing the lowest reading in 33 months.
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Gold and silver logged a loss for the month, but are coming off one of their best quarters in recent years. In October, gold declined 3.1 percent, while silver fell 6.5 percent. In the third quarter, gold and silver posted their best three-month performance since 2010.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 0.50 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) increased 0.55 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) surged 7.4 percent and 3.6 percent, respectively. Silver names such as Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) both jumped more than 2.5 percent.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS