The gold price held firm near $1,720 per ounce Friday morning

The gold price held firm near $1,720 per ounce Friday morning after fourth quarter U.S. GDP growth came in at 2.8%, below the 3.0% consensus estimate among economists.  The price of gold hovered in a tight range between $1,718 and $1,728 in overnight trading, while the U.S. dollar stabilized against many of the world’s leading currencies.  Silver held near unchanged at $33.60 alongside the gold price, while U.S. equity markets opened modestly lower following the disappointing GDP report.

Gold stocks continued to push higher in concert with the gold price, as the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) jumped 1.0% to $55.76 per share.  The gold sector also outperformed the broader equity markets for the second consecutive day, as the S&P 500 Index slid 0.6% to 1,318.43.  Among the large-cap gold producers, notable advancers included Kinross Gold (KGC), Newmont Mining (NEM), and Randgold Resources (GOLD).  KGC closed higher by 1.2% at $11.41 per share, NEM by 0.3% at $60.45, and GOLD by 1.0% at $111.94.

Barclays Capital analyst Suki Cooper offered a bullish take on the gold price as well, but urged a bit of caution in the near term.  “Precious metals have taken off near term, breaking through several important resistance levels,” Cooper wrote in a note to clients.  However, she contended that “We are wary of markets being overstretched though and look for gold and silver to correct ahead of prior highs.