Precious metals were mixed on Wednesday despite a slight rise in the U.S. dollar against a composite of foreign currencies.

COMEX gold futures – per the February contract – settled lower by $6.50, or 0.4%, at $1,686.70 per ounce.  Silver futures fared quite better, however, as the COMEX March contract finished higher by $0.26, or 0.8%, at $32.44 per ounce.  In doing so, silver posted its seventh consecutive daily advance.

While the two most widely-traded precious metals closed in opposite directions today, most gold and silver stocks remained firmly in negative territory this afternoon as the Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index (XAU) dropped by 2.5% to 160.05.

Notable XAU components moving lower included AngloGold Ashanti (AU), New Gold (NGD), and Pan American Silver (PAAS).  Shares of AU retreated by 1.7% to $29.12, NGD by 3.4% to $10.46, and PAAS by 1.7% to $18.50.

As for the U.S. Dollar Index, it inched up by 0.1% to 79.931 against a basket of currencies that included the euro, yen, and pound.

Other metals finished in the red alongside gold.  Copper futures fell by 0.6% to $3.685 per pound, platinum by 0.4% to $1,691.80 per ounce, and palladium by 0.5% to $726.20 per ounce.

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