Gold Prices Gain as Euro Retreats (Update 1)

Updated from 10:41 a.m. EDT with settlement prices

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices gained Thursday as the euro currency moved lower thanks to waning investor hope for action from the European Central Bank.

Gold for December delivery climbed $4.20 to settle at $1,620.20 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,620.30 and as low as $1,612.20 an ounce, while the spot price was rising $1.10, according to Kitco's gold index.

"They're still preoccupied with Europe because they see the Mario Draghi's bluff becoming a bluff, and so the euro is struggling to keep above $1.24," said Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals.

Silver prices for September delivery were down 1 cent to $28.07 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was up 0.34% to $82.63.

The euro was falling Thursday to $1.229 from $1.236 the prior day, and well off the week's high of $1.244 that the currency hit Monday.

Last week's Federal Reserve and ECB monetary policy announcements dictated a lower move by gold prices until Friday's uptick in the unemployment rate reversed the losses.

Gold this week has held in a tight range with little news to move it decidedly in one direction, but hasn't dipped below the psychological $1,600 an ounce. Nadler said that along with the euro's struggle to sit above $1.24 crude oil's price above $90 a barrel has also contributed to gold's level.

"I think as long as crude remains above $90 then gold is kind of holding hands with it," said Nadler.

Light sweet crude for September delivery fell 32 cents to $93.35 a barrel.

The Australian dollar gained against the U.S. dollar Thursday after China's consumer price index bumped up 1.8% in July. The slowing inflation opened the door to chatter that China could put a fresh round of easing policy on the table.

Though Chinese central bank easing would have an effect on gold, Thursday's trading remained calm as it appeared investors have been more interested in monetary action by the United States and Europe.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher Thursday. Randgold Resources ( GOLD) was leading the sector higher, up 3.8%, while Yamana Gold ( AUY) was jumping 2.5%.

Among other mining stocks, Eldorado Gold ( EGO), Goldcorp ( GG) and Barrick Gold ( ABX) were rising 1.8%, 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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