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Gold Lifts on Soft Economic Data

Benchmark bullion futures were up $15.50 at $882 an ounce in recent action.

Gold prices jumped Thursday following the release of more news of poor economic conditions in the manufacturing sector.

Benchmark bullion futures were up $15.50 at $882 an ounce in recent action on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices tend to rise on increased economic uncertainty.

The two exchange-traded funds that hold bars of solid gold,

streetTracks Gold Shares

(GLD) - Get SPDR Gold Trust Report


iShares Comex Gold Trust

(IAU) - Get iShares Gold Trust Report

, were both up 1.9%.


Federal Reserve

says industrial production dropped 0.7% and capacity utilization fell below 80% in April, meaning that the part of the economy involved in making things shrank and operated more than 20% under its full potential.

"The current annual growth rate of production and the level of jobless claims suggest ongoing softness,

but not a 'collapse' in activity," writes Michael Darda, Chief Economist at MKM Partners in Greenwich, Conn., in a recent research report.

Gold Prices Killing Jewelers

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Turning to the precious metals patch, shares of

TheStreet Recommends



and those of

Yamana Gold

(AUY) - Get Yamana Gold Inc. Report

were both climbing about 3.6%.

In the currency markets, one euro was buying $1.5436 vs. $1.5457 on Wednesday. One U.S. dollar was buying 104.9 Japanese yen, down from 105.3 yen previously. The British pound was selling for $1.9448, vs. $1.9435 previously.


CurrencyShares Euro Trust

(FXE) - Get Invesco CurrencyShares Euro Trust Report

was down 0.1%, and the

CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust

(FXY) - Get Invesco Currencyshares Japanese Yen Trust Report

was up 0.2%. The

CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling

(FXB) - Get Invesco CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling Trust Report

was essentially unchanged.