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
iShares Comex Gold Trust
, were both up 1.9%.
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
and those of
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
was down 0.1%, and the
CurrencyShares Japanese Yen Trust
was up 0.2%. The
CurrencyShares British Pound Sterling
was essentially unchanged.