NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Spot gold prices were grounded in positive territory midday Thursday as the dollar continued to fall against a basket of major currencies and the economic picture brightened and helped lift stocks.

Lingering in the back of gold's positive action were worries about the euro-zone's debt crisis, though those worries were abating with the help of liquidity moves by the European Central Bank.

The U.S. dollar index was sliding by 0.7% to $80.19 as U.S. pending home sales rose in October and November same-store sales in the U.S. largely topped estimates, signaling inflationary forces ahead -- which is bullish for gold. On Thursday,


reported that

Goldman Sachs

recommends a short dollar position against the Chinese yuan, with the view that the greenback will fall against the yuan next year because of trade imbalances.

New York spot gold prices were rising by $1.80, or 0.1% to $1,388.40, according to Kitco's spot price index.

Spot silver prices

were ticking up 24 cents, or 0.8%, to $28.66.

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Spot platinum prices were up by $24, or 1.4%, to $1,709 an ounce as its sister metal strengthened.

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New York spot palladium prices were up $28, or 3.8%, to $760 an ounce.

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Precious metal mining stocks -- which offer another form of exposure to precious metals -- were advancing Thursday.

Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold

(FCX) - Get Report

was up 2.1% to $107.67 and

Silvercorp Metals

(SVM) - Get Report

was higher by 2.7% to $13.04.

North American Palladium


was popping by 8% to $6.21 and

Stillwater Mining


was rising by 5.6% to $21.97.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York.

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