NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- New York spot gold prices softened Tuesday after the Labor Department reported a 0.1% drop in April wholesale prices, compared with growth of 0.7% the previous month, and the Commerce Department reported that housing starts rose 5.8% in April, better than analysts had been expecting.

"Inflation refuses to make an appearance while the slack in the US economy refuses to make a disappearing act," said Jon Nadler in his daily precious metals note.

Spot gold prices were lower by $12.30, or 1%, to $1211.80 an ounce Tuesday afternoon.
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New York spot silver prices were losing 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $18.86 an ounce.
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New York spot platinum prices, meanwhile, were rising $14, or 0.8%, to $1683 an ounce, while its sister metal was losing traction.


New York spot palladium prices were falling $3, or 0.6%, to $501 an ounce.

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A handful of mining stocks were retreating Tuesday afternoon. Mining stocks offer another form of exposure to precious metals.

Hecla Mining ( HL - Get Report) was falling 1.5% to $5.86, while Newmont Mining ( NEM - Get Report) was down 1.8% to $56.02.

Meanwhile, Silvercorp Metals ( SVM - Get Report) was falling 1.7% to $7.72 and North American Palladium ( PAL) was losing 3% to $3.78.

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-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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