) --

Gold prices

sank Thursday as eurozone banks seeking additional liquidity swapped the yellow metal for cash.

Gold for February delivery was down $31.60 at $1,533.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The

gold price

traded as high as $1,562.80 and as low as $1,523.90 an ounce, while the spot price was down $25.70, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices

slipped down 63 cents at $26.59 an ounce while the

U.S. dollar index

was up at $80.60.

The continued decline of the euro also had an impact as the currency dropped to a 15-month low against the U.S. dollar, thanks in part to concerns the European Central Bank hasn't done enough to stabilize the sovereign debt crisis across the pond.

Vote: Where will gold prices finish in 2011?

The U.S. dollar index continued to strengthen, rising 0.117% to $80.604, making gold more expensive to buy in other currencies.

Gold mining stocks

were choppy Thursday.

Kinross Gold

(KGC) - Get Report

was down 0.81% at $11.05 while

Yamana Gold

(AUY) - Get Report

was rising 0.77% at $14.33.

Other gold stocks,


(AEM) - Get Report


Eldorado Gold

(EGO) - Get Report

were trading lower at $35.20 and $13.29, respectively.

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Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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