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Gold Futures Creep Higher

Silver is also rising.

Gold prices were edging ahead Thursday as metals stabilized along with the stock market.

December-dated contracts were tacking on $2.10 at $678 an ounce. September-delivery silver was up 7 cents to $13.03 an ounce in recent activity on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The bullion exchange-traded funds,

streetTracks Gold Shares

(GLD) - Get SPDR Gold Trust Report

and

iShares Silver Trust

(SLV) - Get iShares Silver Trust Report

, were both up modestly.

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Newmont Goldcorp Corporation (NEM) Report

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reported a second-quarter loss of $2.06 billion, or $4.57 a share. The company attributed the red ink to the elimination of its merchant banking outfit, the reversal of hedge contracts and other strategic initiatives.

For the same period a year ago, it earned $128 million, or 36 cents a share. The stock was down 0.4% at $41.43.

Globally, all gold miners reduced their hedge positions by 5.4 million ounces during the quarter, according to the latest

Mitsui Gold Hedging Report

, which was prepared by London-based specialty consulting firm Virtual Metals and published Thursday morning.

Dehedging allows the price received per ounce of gold sold to fluctuate in line with activity in the bullion market.

As for base metals, copper prices were up 2 cents at $3.61 a pound.

Elsewhere, Matrix research hit

U.S. Steel

(X) - Get United States Steel Corporation Report

with a downgrade to a buy rating, down from strong buy. Still, the shares were rallying 0.9% in recent action.

In the agriculture complex, prices for corn futures were ahead by 1.7% at $3.42 a bushel, and wheat was up 1.3% at $6.44 a bushel.