Gold and Silver Hold Steady Going Into Weekend

On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for August delivery increased $1.40 to settle at $1,566.90 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures declined 18 cents to close at $26.66. It was gold’s first positive close all week.

Both precious metals remain weak after the Federal Reserve did not announce another asset purchasing program earlier this week. Furthermore, the U.S. dollar continues to receive bids as Europe deals with its insolvency crisis by pursuing any means possible.

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Today, the European Central Bank announced it will start accepting a broader range of collateral in its lending operations, meaning lower quality assets. “The Governing Council has reduced the rating threshold and amended the eligibility requirements for certain asset-backed securities (ABSs),” the ECB said in a statement after its mid-month meeting that is usually reserved for non-monetary policy issues, according to Reuters. “It has thus broadened the scope of the measures to increase collateral availability which were introduced on 8 December 2011 and which remain applicable.” However, Bundesbank, the central bank of Germany, is critical of the decision.

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) edged .08 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) dipped .16 percent. Gold miners (NYSE:ABX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) declined .86 percent and .59 percent, respectively. Silver names First Majestic (NYSE:AG) and Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) both fell more than 1 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS