GOLD PRICE NEWS – The gold price rebounded modestly from several days of selling on Tuesday amid weakness in the U.S. dollar and a very disappointing report on U.S. consumer confidence.  The spot price of gold rose by $6.92, or 0.4%, to $1,662.40 per ounce while the U.S. Dollar Index (DXY) fell by 0.2% to 79.612 against a composite of foreign currencies.  The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), the world’s largest gold ETF and gold price proxy, advanced by $0.69, or 0.4%, to $160.98 per share.

Silver trumped the price of gold this morning with a gain of $0.28, or 0.9%, as it climbed to $31.18 per ounce.  As for other precious metals, platinum futures added 0.6% to $1,673.20 per ounce while palladium jumped 1.3% rise to $748.45 per ounce.  Among cyclical commodities, copper futures inched up by 0.3% to $3.67 per pound while crude oil tacked on 0.8% to $97.17 per barrel.

Gold stocks enjoyed a welcome respite in conjunction with the gold price, as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) rose by $0.47, or 1.1%, to $41.94 per share.  The sector also outperformed the broader equity markets, as the S&P 500 Index added only 0.1% to 1,502.28.

Notable gold stocks moving higher included GDX components Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM), Goldcorp (GG), and Randgold Resources (GOLD).  Shares of AEM advanced by 0.8% to $46.17, GG by 2.1% to $36.01, and GOLD by 1.7% to $95.50.

Gold prices were buoyed on Tuesday by the latest U.S. Consumer Confidence data, which came in at 58.6 – well below the 64.0 consensus estimate among economists and the worst reading since November of 2011.  The particularly weak report is likely to weigh on the minds of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and his fellow central bankers, who tomorrow will announce their decision on monetary policy at the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting.

Commenting on the outlook for the Fed meeting, Eric Green – global head of rates and foreign exchange research at TD Securities and a former economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York – stated that “To get to the point where Bernanke would be comfortable letting up, you have to have a good solid string of economic reports that you’re just not going to get (in 2013).”

Green cited poor global growth and federal tax increases as headwinds likely to keep the U.S. economy in a sluggish state.  As a result, he contended that the Fed is not going to close off the monetary spigots anytime soon.

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