NEW YORK (
Gold for December February rose 20 cents to $1,697 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The
"Today is basically Friday even out day for funds avoiding possible negative week end news," wrote George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Wealth Management, in a note. "
President Barack Obama, House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid remained relatively quiet on Friday, but not before each of them used the media platform to state displeasure with the path of negotiations.Reid's speech on Tuesday immediately rattled markets as the legislator said it would be "extremely difficult" to reach a deal before Christmas. Obama's and Boehner's spokespeople have refused to provide the public with any details of the closed-door discussions they've held since the weekend. White House Press Secretary Jay Carney went so far as to say that he believed the best prospect for reaching an agreement was to not read to reporters details of the conversations between Obama and head lawmakers. Gold prices gained on Monday in anticipation that the Fed would implement additional easing with the expiration of Operation Twist set for the end of the year. But the central bank's decision to begin purchases of longer-term Treasury bonds at a rate of $45 billion per month, in addition to the $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities, didn't give the yellow metal the pop that many investors had anticipated. By Thursday, gold prices plummeted more than $20 on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's statement (after the new monetary policy announcement) that the central bank wouldn't be able to avert the United States from the fiscal cliff without action by legislators in Washington.