NEW YORK ( TheStreet ) -- Gold and silver prices ended lower Thursday as investors rushed to move into cash.

Gold for August delivery closed down $10.50 to $1,532.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold traded as high as $1,545.50 and as low as $1,520.40 during the session, while the spot gold price was down $3.60, according to Kitco's gold index.

Gold prices clawed their way back from session lows in after-hours trading after Moody's warned the United States that its triple-A credit rating would be put on review for a possible downgrade if the debt ceiling wasn't raised. The dismal news prompted a move into the safe haven of gold.

Silver prices for July delivery lost $1.49 to close at $36.20 an ounce while the U.S. dollar index was 0.58% lower at $74.42.

Gold had been gaining some ground early Thursday as the market panic subsided after the Dow Jones Industrial Average's triple-digit decline on Wednesday but the metal couldn't hold its momentum. After Moody's downgraded Greece even further into junk status with a negative outlook late in the day on Wednesday, gold immediately sold off as investors rushed to cash. On Thursday, investors appeared to dive into cash and certain stocks again following a weaker than expected decline in factory orders and slightly higher than anticipated initial jobless claims.

"The broad range I would label in gold is $1,475 to $1,575, the inside of which we've already seen. It's basically $1,520-$1,550," says Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco.com.

Now gold, like the rest of the markets, is mostly waiting on Friday's jobs number, which looks pretty bleak. The private sector was projected to add roughly 185,000 jobs earlier in the week, but analysts have revised those estimates downward after Automatic Data Processing said companies added only 38,000 jobs in May. Gold could still benefit from safe haven buying as investors juggle a lot of bad headlines. Putting cash in gold ahead of the weekend might be a preferred alternative for some investors.

"It is possible that we trade down to the $1,500 area by the end of the week," says Anthony Neglia, president of Tower Trading. "Right now I am trading gold from the short side till the end of the week by buying short term puts."

Mihir Dange, trader at Arbitrage, says that gold is holding up better than stocks and other commodities in its role as a currency but is dubious as to how long that will last. "I am sitting and waiting, but my gut tells me to short with a stop above $1,555 or so or even near all-time highs."

Investors are focusing on silver's use as an industrial metal, rather than a safe haven asset, and have begun dumping the metal after a slew of disappointing global manufacturing data. Countries that produce less will use less silver.

"If silver is unable to make it back over that high, $33 will be back in play," says Tower Trading's Neglia. Nadler of Kitco.com sees the range between "$33.50 to about $39. The top end must be overcome in order to even talk about the low $40s." Nadler adds that if the $33 level isn't supported by physical buying, then silver could fall to $29 and lower.

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower. Kinross Gold ( KGC - Get Report) was down 0.29% at $15.70 while Yamana Gold ( NEM) was falling 1.11% to $12.52. Other gold stocks, Agnico-Eagle ( AEM - Get Report) and Eldorado Gold ( EGO - Get Report) were trading at $63.89 and $15.52, respectively.


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-- Written by Alix Steel in New York.

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