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Gold, silver and platinum rise as mixed data weakens US Dollar

Gold improved in the morning as did other precious metals after the US Dollar further weakened on the mixed economic data that came out in the US yesterday.

The ADP (Automatic Data Processing) released its National Employment Report, putting private jobs cuts for December at 84,000, which signalled an improvement from 169,000 in November, though was roughly 10,000 more than expected, while minutes of the December meeting of the Federal Reserve also sent mixed signals as some members appeared to be in favour of upping the scale of the US$1.25 trillion mortgage-buying programme instead of letting it expire as scheduled in March. The Fed also appeared to be reluctant to consider a revision of interest rates anytime soon, sending the US Dollar down to make precious metals a more attractive investment.

Gold broke through US$1,130/oz, while silver and platinum reached US$18.15/oz and US$1,550/oz respectively.

Mining stocks were mixed. Gold miner Randgold Resources (LSE: RRS) slid 1.3%, while silver miner Frensillo (LSE: FRES) tacked on 1%. Platinum producer Lonmin (LSE: LMI) also was in decline, posting a small loss.

Specialty chemicals firm Johnson Matthey (LSE: JMAT) also declined marginally.

In the FTSE 250, silver producer Hochshild Mining (LSE: HOC) gained nearly 1%, while gold miner Petropavlovsk (LSE: POG) remained flat. Aquarius Platinum (LSE: AQP) was at the bottom of the pile with a 2% loss.

Turkey and Ethiopia operating gold miner Stratex International (AIM: STI) led the juniors with a 14% surge, while Uzbekistan focused gold miner Oxus Gold (AIM: OXS), copper and gold miner EMED Mining (AIM: EMED) and Latin American precious metal miner Minera IRL (AIM: MIRL) followed, advancing 7%, 6% and 4% respectively.

African focused nickel and gold exploration and development junior Nyota Minerals (ASX&AIM: NYO) and Africa focused gold miner Pan African Resources (AIM: PAF) both gained more than 3%.

Lesotho operating diamond miner Kopane Diamond Developments (AIM: KDD) slid 7.5% on no news. Africa operating gold miner GMA Resources (AIM: GMA), Iran focused gold explorer Persian Gold (AIM: PNG) and Turkey and Saudi Arabia operating gold explorer KEFI Minerals (AIM: KEF) followed with losses of 6.5%, 6% and 5.5% respectively. South American based explorer Mariana Resources (AIM: MARL) was down 4%.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in the company