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Gold, Silver Prices Pop on Euro Worries

Gold and silver prices shook off a stronger U.S. dollar and popped as eurozone debt worries took center stage.

By Alix Steel,

Gold for June delivery added $16.50 to close at $1,508.90 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price has traded as high as $1,515.80 and has hit a low of $1,486.40. The spot gold price was rising by $20, according to Kitco's gold index.

Silver prices rose 15 cents to close at $35.08 an ounce. The U.S. dollar index was adding 0.38% to $75.38, but the euro was tanking 0.8% against the dollar and gold in euro terms was more than 2%.

Gold and silver rounded out a hodge-podge week with a pop helped by resurfacing eurozone sovereign debt woes and worries that some kind of Greece default is inevitable and would contaminate the rest of Europe.

Reportedly the German Bundesbank also said that Germany's economy would slow. Germany is the stalwart nation in the EU, accounting for the majority of growth in the region. According to the EU Commission, Germany is expected to grow 2.6% in 2011, but the Bundesbank's comments today warned of a lack of momentum. The country is also seeing consistently higher costs with producer prices jumping 6.4% in April.

Technical trading is another catalyst for gold and silver's rally Friday. Options expiration for the metals is next Wednesday, leading to a lot of shuffling of positions.

Gold and silver had been volatile this week on a slew of news that offered little clarity on direction. The Federal Reserve's FOMC minutes released Wednesday were less hawkish than feared, but curbing the money supply in the market is still on the top of its to-do list. The dollar had a volatile week against the euro as Greece's debt problem played second fiddle to determining a new head of the IMF. Any rally in gold and silver was met by profit taking while any significant dip was met with buying. The 13F filings released earlier in the week also showed that big-name investors dumped gold in the first quarter, like George Soros. Others, like John Paulson, kept theirs.

The SPDR Gold Shares(GLD_), the biggest physically backed ETF, shed less than 1 ton, underscoring the lack of conviction from buyers and sellers.

David Banister, chief investment strategist at, says predicting where gold and silver will go next is a little tricky right now. "I think it's unlikely that we get any lower than $1,440. My current forecast is actually for that $1,462 to hold." Once gold shakes out this correction, Banister thinks it will attack new highs of $1,625 sometime in the summer. Banister thinks that $1,625 gold means that silver will be at $41/$42 an ounce.

Most experts think that gold and silver will continue to find direction from the U.S. dollar. As the currency weakens, metals move higher as they retain more value and inversely when the dollar strengthens, the safe haven assets becomes a less exciting place to stash cash. Despite the fact that the dollar was strong Friday against the euro, gold and silver still rallied on safe haven buying.