Silver Outperforms Gold, Finishes Week 6.4% Higher

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery slipped $9.90 to settle at $1,776.40 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures fell 22 cents to close at $35.34.  Gold prices gained 2.9 percent this week, while silver finished 6.4 percent higher.

The U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) declined to a fresh three month low against the euro, as new data from the Commerce Department dampens any turnaround hopes in the housing market.  New single-family homes sales slipped 0.9 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted 321,000 unit annual rate.  The media price for a new home edged 0.3 percent higher to $217,000, but is still almost 10 percent below January 2010 levels.

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In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell .47 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) declined .29 percent.  Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) dropped 1 percent, while Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) fell 1.5 percent.  Shares of First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) both declined 1.2 percent.

Newmont Mining Corp. (NYSE:NEM) shares dropped 2.5 percent after reporting fourth quarter results.  The miner posted a loss of $1.03 billion, compared to a $812 million gain in the year-earlier quarter.  “We are pleased to announce a 32% increase in our operating margin for 2011, compared to a 28% increase in our average realized gold price for the year,” commented Richard O’Brien, President and CEO. “Our increasing margins provide us with the financial strength to continue to focus on returning capital to our shareholders. During 2011, we paid out an industry leading $494 million in dividends, representing 23% of adjusted net income from continuing operations,” added Mr. O’Brien.

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To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com