Precious metals closed sharply higher at the COMEX on Friday to cap off their third consecutive week of gains. Today’s rally driven in large part by the worse than expected U.S. non-farm payrolls report, which many investors believe has raised the odds that the Federal Reserve will announce a third quantitative easing (QE3) program at next week’s FOMC meeting.
COMEX gold futures for December delivery settled with a gain of $34.90, or 2.1%, at $1,740.50 per ounce this afternoon. Silver futures fared even better, as the COMEX December contract jumped 3.3% to $33.74 per ounce. With today’s strength, gold and silver extended their weekly gains to % and %, respectively.
Shares of most gold and silver companies remained firmly in positive territory this afternoon, and also outperformed the precious metals. The Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index (XAU) climbed as much as 3.7% to 180.18, bringing its advance this week to 6.1%. The gain marked the XAU’s best such stretch since May 21-25 of this year.
Among large-cap gold mining stocks, two of the top performers on Friday were Eldorado Gold (EGO) and IAMGOLD (IAG) – which added 5.9% to $14.59 and 4.3% to $14.09 per share, respectively.
As for silver shares, Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) rose 2.8% to $24.92 while Silver Wheaton (SLW) advanced 2.1% to $36.46 per share.
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