old Futures Dip, Profit-Taking Ahead of the Weekend

Gold futures dipped on Thursday amid strength in the U.S. dollar following a better than expected ISM Manufacturing report.

COMEX gold futures, per the December 2011 contract, settled slightly lower by $1.60, or 0.1%, at $1,829.10 per ounce. The yellow metal osciallated near unchanged throughout the day, in a light-volume session ahead of the holiday weekend.

Jim Steel, an analyst with HSBC, wrote in a note to clients that “In the near term, there may be more room to the downside for gold.  In absence of any major event, the steep ($50 an ounce) rally earlier this week may encourage profit-taking.”

Nonetheless, Steel contended that the “The downside should be limited, however.”

Silver futures underperformed gold on Thursday, as the September 2011 COMEX contract fell $0.24, or 0.6%, to $41.53 per ounce.