Gold Prices Flat as Moody's Reaffirms Spain Ratings

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were trading near the flat line Wednesday as Moody's reaffirmed Spanish bonds as investment grade.

Gold for December delivery was adding $3.10 to $1,749.40 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,755 and as low as $1,744 an ounce, while the spot price was losing 70 cents, according to Kitco's gold index.

"Some minor positives from Germany relating to Spain and also their retention of investment grade for Spanish bonds helped gold somewhat," George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Wealth Management, wrote in a note.

Silver prices for December delivery were rising 9 cents to $33.05 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was shedding 0.27% to $79.01.

Investors continued to anticipate Spain eventually will ask for a bailout from the European Central Bank.

Gold prices haven't traded with much enthusiasm since the Federal Reserve implemented a fresh round of open-ended, asset-backed mortgage securities purchases. The Fed's action moved investors to price in the possibility of future inflation, which pushed up the gold price to its highest levels in 2012.

But with an impending U.S. election, inaction on the Spanish bailout and a pause in global central banking easing efforts, gold has lingered in a trading range with slight downside sentiment.

Housing starts rose in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 872,000, which was well above the 770,000 economists had expected. The continued strengthening in the housing market suggested a slow move toward improved economic growth, which would be a negative sign for open-ended quantitative easing -- the Fed has stated that it would end so-called QE3 after the labor market and economy had shown significant improvements and had held their gains.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher Wednesday. Shares of NovaGold Resources ( NG) were increasing 2.8%, and shares of Randgold Resources ( GOLD) were up 0.98%.

Among other mining stocks, Eldorado Gold ( EGO) was gaining 0.9%, while Newmont Mining ( NEM) was losing 0.73%.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust ( GLD) was climbing 0.12%.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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