Gold Keeps Moving Sideways

Category: Gold / May 01, 2012 4:37PM EDT

Gold prices fell today for the first time in a week. Traders said the decline had to do with the stronger-than-expected manufacturing report from the U.S. Commerce Department.

Today's price decline was pretty small. In fact ... gold has been moving sideways ... so to speak ... since the middle of March. It may be that investors are waiting for Friday's employment report to decide on whether to buy or sell. If the numbers Friday are weak that will be seen in some quarters as increasing pressure on the U.S. central bank to print money. Printing more money weakens the value of the dollar ... and that lifts the price of gold. But if the employment numbers are strong that will be seen as cutting the pressure on the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy ... which could lead to the price of gold falling.

Even though gold prices gave up some ground today ... shares of gold mining companies mostly gained ground. Goldcorp climbed 1.4 percent ... Kinross Gold added 1.5 percent ... Iamgold was up 1.5 percent ... Harmony Gold rose 1.3 percent ... Gold Fields increased 1.9 percent ... and New Gold booked a 3.2 percent gain.

Silver mining companies were mixed. Hecla Mining climbed 2.3 percent and First Majestic Silver gained 2 percent.  But Fortuna Silver fell 2.7 percent and Pan American Silver fell 1.1 percent.