NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Spot gold prices were showing greater strength Wednesday afternoon after giving back gains the day before.

"Some of the rise has now been tempered, just like this morning's profit-taking became muted after a while. We are now up 0.38% in spot gold. Hardly worth sending a postcard home about that," Kitco analyst Jon Nadler said.

Nadler said that he chalks these moves up "to various spec funds diving in and out of the market, trading the range, and basing moves on momentum. I fear that gold has become the next 'trade' as opposed to timeless insurance -- and that it might be a crowded (by funds) one, at that."

New York spot gold prices were rising by $4.80, or 0.4%, to $1,229.50 an ounce Wednesday afternoon.

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New York spot silver prices were lower by 12 cents, or 0.7%, at $18.41 an ounce.

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New York spot platinum prices, meanwhile were down by $9, or 0.6%, to $1,530 an ounce, while its sister metal was losing traction.

New York spot palladium prices were retreating by $4, or 0.8%, to $490 an ounce.

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A handful of mining stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) were trading in mixed territory Wednesday afternoon; mining stocks offer another form of exposure to precious metals.

Stillwater Mining

(SWC)

was rising by 3.5% to $14.04 while

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

(FCX) - Get Report

was up by 1.1% to $73.61.

ETFS Physical Palladium Shares

(PALL) - Get Report

was lower by 1.1% to $49.08 and

Barrick Gold

(ABX)

was increasing by 2.6% to $45.42.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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