Updated from 12:05 p.m. ET with settlement prices

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices closed little changed on Friday as traders took a breather following a more than 2% drop over the past two trading sessions.

Gold for December delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange rose 50 cents to settle at $1,244.10 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,248.30 and as low as $1,240.30, while the spot price was slipping 0.13% to $1,242.83.

"We're just having a little bit of a recovery after this latest move lower," Ole Hansen, head of commodities strategy at Saxo Bank, said in a phone interview from Copenhagen. "It could indicate that heading into next week the risk is pointing to the downside."

The yellow metal lost nearly $30 across Wednesday and Thursday after the Federal Reserve's minutes from the central banks' October policy-making meeting showed that "a number" of members expected the central bank to slow down its economic stimulus program in the coming months, so long as economic data continued to trend positively.

A slowdown in monetary stimulus would suggest to markets that long-term inflation pressures would soften. Gold investors often view the yellow metal as an asset hedge against inflationary concerns.

Silver prices for December delivery slid 7 cents to $19.86 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was declining 0.36% to $80.71.

Gold mining stocks were turning mostly lower on Friday. Shares of NovaGold Resources  (NG) were off 4% to $2.17.

Among volume leaders, Barrick Gold (ABX) was off 2.1% to $16.50 a share.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) down a penny at $119.93, while iShares Gold Trust (IAU) was up a penny to $12.07.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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