) --

Gold prices

were slipping on Friday after a stronger-than-anticipated consumer sentiment report suggested the economy is sustaining a trend of recovery.

Gold for August delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was falling $10.90 to $1,317.90 an ounce. The

gold price

traded as high as $1,350.50 and as low as $1,311.90 an ounce, while the spot price was sliding $14.63.

The Reuter's/University of Michigan consumer sentiment index climbed to 85.1 in July, up from 83.9 in June. It's the best reading of consumer strength since July of 2007.

Investors often invest in gold as a safe haven against economic weakness.

Silver prices

for September delivery were losing 46 cents to $19.70 an ounce, while the

U.S. dollar index

was decreasing 0.07% to $81.71.

Gold is down more than 1% this week, but has gained more than 8.5% since hitting a 2-month low on June 27.

Despite this week's stumble, the increase since June has boosted some analysts' outlook for the yellow metal.

"To me it looks like we're going to see higher prices at least up until about $1,400," Michael Smith, president of T&K Futures and Options, said in a phone call. "I don't know if that's going to hold or not if we can't get there, but if this dollar keeps falling like it is I don't see why not."

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower on Friday, in line with the broader equity markets and COMEX gold futures. Shares of

AngloGold Ashanti

(AU) - Get Report

TheStreet Recommends

were down 3.1%, and shares of

Newmont Mining

(NEM) - Get Report

were off 2.4%.

Among volume leaders,



was losing 0.14%.

Gold ETF

SPDR Gold Trust

(GLD) - Get Report

was declining 0.83%, while

iShares Gold Trust

(IAU) - Get Report

was off 0.86%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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