Gold Prices Gain as Fed Taper Decision Draws Near

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices were climbing Friday as market participants grabbed the yellow metal at a cheaper price following Thursday's tumble.

Gold for February delivery at the COMEX division of the New York Mercantile Exchange was jumping $9.90 to $1,234.80 an ounce. The gold price traded as high as $1,238.10 and as low as $1,219.50 an ounce, while the spot price was up $8.81, or 0.72%.

"I think it's, in part, a bounce back from yesterday's deep selloff," said Jeffrey Nichols, publisher of NicholsOnGold.com. "It's questionable whether it was justified."

Gold tumbled on Thursday as reports that Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wisc.) and Sen. Patty Murray (D., Wash.) crafted a bipartisan budget deal that appealed to members of both major parties. By the evening, the budget passed the Republican-controlled House. The U.S. Senate expects to vote on the measure next week.

The precious metal is poised for uncertain price action next week as the Federal Reserve's policy-making arm will decide whether to scale back its economic stimulus program. Many investors have said that so-called tapering would hurt the price of gold as many view the asset as a hedge against inflation concerns. A pullback in Fed action would suggest a softening of the possibility of longer-term inflation.

Silver prices for March delivery were tacking on 22 cents to $19.68 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was slightly higher by 0.06% to $80.27.

Gold mining stocks were mostly higher on Friday. Shares of NovaGold Resources (NG) were adding 2.6% to $2.35, and shares of Newmont Mining (NEM) were up 0.24% to $23.34.

Gold ETF SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) was gaining 0.73% to $119.15, while iShares Gold Trust (IAU) was increasing 0.71% to $11.98.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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