Gold Trades Sideways as Dollar Strengthens (Update1)

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(Updated from 11:13 a.m. EDT with settlement prices.)

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Gold prices traded sideways Friday as the U.S. dollar strengthened a day after a big drop.

Gold for December delivery settled up 20 cents to $1,619.40 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price traded as high as $1,623 and as low as $1,613.30 an ounce, while the spot price was up $2, according to Kitco's gold index.

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"I don't think you're going to see a whole lot of action until you get through the summer, past Labor Day weekend," said Oliver Pursche, co-portfolio manager at GMG Defensive Beta Fund. "There just doesn't seem to be enough activity in any investment arena right now to drive prices in a meaningful fashion."

Silver prices for September delivery dipped 21 cents to $28.00 an ounce, while the U.S. dollar index was jumping 0.25% to $82.60.

The Federal Open Market Committee releases its minutes next Wednesday, and central bankers meet at the Jackson Hole summit on Aug. 31 and Sept. 1, but some analysts aren't optimistic about any Fed stimulus.

"I don't think we're going to hear much as far as confirmation of any stimulus out of the Fed come Jackson Hole," said Steve Ayer, managing director of HighTower. "How can they? The stock market is right at its high, the election is a few months away."

Gold prices didn't receive a massive bump earlier this week after the 13F filings of billionaire investors George Soros and John Paulson showed each significantly increased their positions in the precious metal. While those investments suggest both Soros and Paulson expect some form of Fed stimulus is on the horizon, investors Jeffrey Vinik and Eric Mindich both dumped their holdings in SPDR Gold Trust.

For now, gold appears to be stuck in a range until central banks signal any policy changes.

Platinum for October delivery charged higher Friday by $37.90 to settle at $1,473.10 an ounce. A Lonmin platinum mine grabbed attention Thursday after South African police killed 34 workers who were staging an illegal strike.

Shares of the United Kingdom-based mining company dropped 1.2% on Friday at the FTSE.

"The South African Police Service (SAPS) have been in charge of public order and safety on the ground since the violence between competing labor factions erupted over the weekend," Lonmin Chairman Roger Phillimore said in a statement. "It goes without saying that we deeply regret the further loss of life in what is clearly a public order rather than labor relations associated matter."

Gold-mining stocks were mostly lower Friday. AngloGold Ashanti was dropping 2.3%, while Barrick Gold was retreating 0.6%.

Among other mining stocks, Yamana Gold and Newmont Mining were down 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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