Gold and Silver Finish Week Higher

On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for February delivery, the most active contract, decreased $3.80 to settle at $1,687 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March rose 12 cents to close at $31.93. Both precious metals finished the week higher.

Precious metals continue to receive support from mixed economic reports and healthy demand. Consumer sentiment, as measured by Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan, reached its lowest level since December 2011. Meanwhile, China, the world’s second-largest gold consumer, said its gross domestic product increased by 7.9 percent in the fourth quarter.

The U.S. Mint also suspended sales of the new American Silver Eagle. In a statement to authorized purchasers, the Mint explains, “The United States Mint has temporarily sold out of 2013 American Eagle Silver Bullion coins. As a result, sales are suspended until we can build up an inventory of these coins. Sales will resume on or about the week of January 28, 2013, via the allocation process.” The announcement comes after the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) added 572 tons of silver to the ETF.

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed 0.16 percent lower, while the iShares Silver Trust gained 0.46 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) increased 1.01 percent and 0.35 percent, respectively. However, First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both fell more than 1 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS