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On Friday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery increased $12.80 to settle at $1,711.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures gained 38 cents to close at $34.21. Both precious metals have closed higher the past three consecutive sessions.
The U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) climbed higher after Friday’s job report. The Labor Department’s monthly report said the United States economy added 227,000 jobs in February, compared to expectations of 213,000. Furthermore, hiring in January and December were better than previously thought. Those figures were revised to show 61,000 additional jobs. The economy has generated an average of 245,000 new jobs in each of the last three months.
However, the U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in January as demand for oil rose despite higher prices, pushing imports to a record high, the Commerce Department reported on Friday. The trade gap grew more than 4 percent to $52.6 billion, the highest since October 2008. The department also raised its December trade gap estimate to $50.4 billion from its previous figure of $48.8 billion.
Despite the recent dollar strength, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) increased .60 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) jumped 1.25 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) edged .25 percent and .89 percent lower. Meanwhile, silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as First Majestic (NYSE:AG) popped 2.6 percent. Hecla Mining Co. (NYSE:HL) also jumped 3.10 percent.
Investor Insight: Do Precious Metal Investors Believe QE Will Be Dialed Back?
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