On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery fell $20.40 to settle at $1,660.20 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures dropped $1.14 to close at $31.39. Gold still finished the week about 1.7 percent higher, while silver declined 1.1 percent.
Both precious metals declined on Friday as new China data weighed on markets. The National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing announced that China’s economy grew at 8.1 percent in the first quarter of 2012, its slowest pace in about three years. Economists were expecting growth of about 8.3 percent and the whisper number was around 9 percent. In comparison, China grew at 8.9 percent in the previous quarter, and 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010.
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Song Yu, China economist at Goldman Sachs explained, “Growth in the first two months was weak. We had some loosening of monetary and fiscal policy in March, but it wasn’t enough to save the quarterly number,” according to the WSJ.
In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell 1.25 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) dropped 2.7 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) both fell 1.5 percent. Meanwhile, silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) Fortuna Silver (NYSE:FSM) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) declined 2.4 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.
Investor Insight: Gold and Silver Wait Patiently for More Easing
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS