Gold Prices Keep Up Friday Momentum

(Gold story updated to reflect price changes)
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices were popping Friday afternoon on lower GDP growth numbers.

This morning, the Commerce Department said that GDP growth has slowed to 2.4%, slightly below the Wall Street consensus view of a slowdown to 2.5%. Still, first-quarter GDP was revised much higher, indicating growth at 3.7% annual rate -- up from the original 2.7% rate posted in the first quarter.

Gold for December delivery was rising $12.40 to $1,183.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price Tuesday has traded as high as $1,185.80 and as low as $1,168. The U.S. dollar index was up 1% at $115.46, while the euro was falling 0.3% at $1.30 vs. the dollar. The spot gold price was rising by $15.

"US GDP data and Chinese PMI (purchasing managers index) readings over the weekend are likely to set the tone for market direction over the next few days," BullionDesk.com analyst James Moore said in a morning note. "A strong reading will likely be negative for gold but positive for the PGMs (platinum group metals)."

Moore said that despite the scale of selling seen in gold from funds and ETF redemptions the metal has found good volumes of over-the-counter physical and investment buying with strong technical support anticipated towards the 200-day moving average of $1150.80.

Concerns of economic slowdowns have typically spurred gold demand. Out of the four recessionary periods since the U.S. abolished the gold standard, three have led to stronger gold prices.

During 1990 to 1991, an eight-month recession set off by the savings and loan crisis, the gold price increased 0.28%. In the next recession of 2001, following the Internet bubble burst the gold price went up 5%. From January 2008 until the third quarter of 2009, when GDP started to heat up again, gold prices climbed 29%.

During the recession between 1980 and 1982, gold tanked 63%, but after hitting an all-time high at the outset of $850 an ounce.

Silver prices were rising 37 cents to $17.99 while copper prices were up 2 cents at $3.31.

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Gold mining stocks, a more risky but more profitable way to invest in gold, were mixed. Yamana Gold ( AUY) ended the trading session up 1.8% at $9.42, while AngloGold Ashanti ( AU) increased 2.4% to $40.52. Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) rose 1.3% to $55.75 and IAMGOLD ( IAG) added 2.1% to $15.81.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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