Gold Prices Dip Amid Muddled Fiscal Cliff Talks

Tickers in this article: GLD AU RGLD GFI

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were dipping Friday as fiscal cliff headlines continued to roil investors of the yellow metal.

Gold for December delivery was off $16.80 to settle at $1,712.70 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,733.70 and as low as $1,711.80 an ounce, while the spot price was dropping $14.20, according to Kitco's gold index.

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"The broader news right now is that there's still worry over the fiscal cliff, and that's probably still the headline news," said Will Rhind, managing director at ETF Securities U.S.

Silver prices for March delivery closed down $1.15 to $33.28 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was losing 0.06% to $80.16.

President Barack Obama emerged Friday at a K'Nex toy factory to call out House Republicans and others who have resisted his calls for tax increases on the wealthiest 2% of earners, along with capital gains and dividend taxes to raise revenue in a new budget.

House Speaker John Boehner spoke shortly after the president's speech and said that the White House had not yet released what he called a serious proposal.

The posturing among politicians on both sides of the aisle has left most investors with little direction as to what deal they may cut before deep spending cuts and tax increases go into effect..

German lawmakers approved the most recent bailout agreement to Greece, even after the International Monetary Fund said Thursday that it would not disburse Greece's impending round of bailout loans until the country completed a voluntary buyback of its debt.

Selling early in Friday's session initially came from first notice day, when physical delivery of the yellow metal must occur, noted George Gero, precious metals strategist at RBC Wealth Management.

Early rumors have started to emerge about the possibility of the Federal Reserve implementing a new round of some type of quantitative easing as Operation Twist is set to expire at the beginning of 2013. Such a move likely would be viewed as a continuation of more inflationary policy and make gold the safe-haven hedge.

"How do you morph out of Operation Twist? And then you've got the treasury secretary Timothy Geithner , as a part of their little negotiating tactic, saying 'well why don't we just have a permanent debt ceiling that's unlimited," said Jeffrey Wright, managing director of metals and mining at Global Hunter Securities. "If that was ever implemented ... we are the Weimar Republic ... that would be a big mover for gold."

Gold mining stocks were mostly lower Friday. Shares of AngloGold Ashanti (AU) and Royal Gold (RGLD) each were shedding 2.9%.

Among volume leaders, Gold Fields (GFI) was down 2.6%

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