Gold Prices Settle Below $1,190

NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold prices closed down Friday as volume thinned and traders digested the results of the bank stress tests from the European Union.

Gold for August delivery settled $7.80 lower at $1,187.80 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price Friday has traded as high as $1,203.90 and as low as $1,185.80. The U.S. dollar index was down 0.07% to $82.57 while the euro was slipping 0.03% to $1.28 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price Friday was down more than $5, according to Kitco's gold index.

Gold investors digested better-than-expected earnings from the U.S. and a lack of negative results from the EU's bank stress tests.

Gold prices headed higher in early trading as investors who still wanted to have protection against any bad news were buying gold as a safe haven as well as those who wanted to buy the precious metal under $1,200 an ounce. But gold took a turn for the worse after the stress test results came out and on the back of a stronger U.S. dollar, which makes the dollar-backed commodity more expensive to buy in other currencies.

The EU tested 91 banks to see if they had enough capital to withstand a fictional recession and a volatile bond market. The tests are similar to one of the two the U.S. used in 2009 to measure the health of its banking system. Seven out of the 91 banks failed, which was better than the 10 expected. The breakdown was five Spanish banks, one Greek bank and one German bank. France held up as one of the strongest countries.

In addition to the results, the facts are expected to eventually provide transparency and shore up confidence in the EU. The euro rallied this week ahead of the results briefly touching $1.30 vs. the dollar after stronger-than-expected European manufacturing, industrial and purchasing data. The results yielded no negative surprises, which disappointed some gold buyers who were buying the metal as protection.

Gold prices are down 0.5% for the week as they stayed confined to a tight trading range. The popular gold exchange-traded fund, SPDR Gold Shares ( GLD), lost more than 6 tons Thursday as investors sold gold for stocks. Any broad-based selling in the gold market, however, is met with stubborn buying and many analysts think gold will stay in the $1,175 to $1,205 range for a while.

"The dip buying interest seen in gold over the past few days is an encouraging indicator and suggests ongoing diversification from fiat currencies by investors looking for more tangible assets," said James Moore, analyst at thebulliondesk.com in his daily metals report. "However, the continued failure to clear overhead resistance around $1,200 leaves the metal vulnerable to stale liquidation."

Silver prices settled down 1 cent to $18.10 while copper added 2 cents to $3.18.

Most Recent Quotes from www.kitco.com

Silver and gold mining stocks, an alternative way to invest in goldand silver, were mixed. NovaGold ( NG) was up slightly at $6.39 while Coeur d'Alene Mines ( CDE) was higher at $15.45. Other stocks Pan American Silver ( PAAS) and Silver Standard Resources ( SSRI) were trading at $23.27and $16.25, respectively.

-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.

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Alix joined TheStreet.com TV in February 2007. Previously, she held positions in film and theater production, management, and legal administration. Alix has a degree in communications and theater from Northwestern University.

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