GOLD PRICE NEWS – The gold price stabilized on Friday as the yellow metal consolidated following four straight days of gains.  The spot price of gold held in a narrow range between $1,686 and $1,695 per ounce in morning trading despite strength in the U.S. dollar.  The greenback advanced by 0.6% against a basket of currencies that included the euro, pound, yen, and other.

Silver fared better than the price of gold this morning, as it rose by $0.14, or 0.4%, to $31.87 per ounce.  Other precious metals, however, underperformed the gold price.  Platinum futures slid by 1.3% to $1,678.40 per ounce while palladium dipped 0.3% to $724.35 per ounce.

Gold stocks held steady alongside gold prices, as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) oscillated between gains and losses near $45.00 per share.  Notable gold stocks in the black, however, included Harmony Gold (HMY), IAMGOLD (IAG), and Newmont Mining (NEM).  Shares of HMY advanced by 0.8% to $7.61, IAG by 0.7% to $10.92, and NEM by 0.9% to $44.85.

The gold sector outperformed the broader equity markets, as the S&P 500 Index inched down by 0.2% to 1,478.30.  Equities as a whole declined after a worse than expected reading on consumer sentiment.  The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for January came in at 71.3 – below the 75.0 consensus estimate among economists and the 72.9 level from December.

As for the gold price, as the week draws to a close it remains higher by 1.6% – putting it on track for its best such stretch since a 2.2% gain between November 19th and 23rd of last year.  Silver is also on pace for its best week since mid-November, as it is now up by an impressive 4.5% since last Friday.

Commenting on the yellow metal’s recent strength, Commerzbank analyst Carsten Fritch stated on Friday that “Gold is rallying along with other commodities and other precious metals, with stronger risk appetite luring some speculative investment into the yellow metal’s market.”

Analysts at UBS weighed in as well with their take on the price of gold, noting that “The physical market is off to a good start this year, with many indicators so far pointing to a positive demand story.  The loco swap rate between Zurich and London is now firmly in positive territory, suggesting strong physical offtake and subdued scrap supply.”

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