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Tickers in this Article: UUP, GLD, IAU, SLV, SIL, GDX, GDXJ, PPLT, PALL
Stoked by renewed hopes for more quantitative easing, traders bid up gold prices Tuesday, helping the yellow metal reclaim the psychologically important $1,600 an ounce barrier. COMEX gold for August delivery jumped 1.1%, or $17, to settle at $1,613.80 per troy ounce. Following Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke's congressional testimony last week, hopes for another round of quantitative easing appeared dashed, but those hopes were reborn on Tuesday. In an interview with Bloomberg Television today, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans said he supports further easing. That gave gold bugs all the ammunition they need to send gold higher today. However, traders may be ignoring a crucial fact regarding Evans' comments: He isn't a voting member of the Fed's policy-setting committee.

In other words, when the Fed meets next week, Evans won't have much say in whether the central bank moves forward with further easing plans. On Tuesday, gold as got a lift from a modest retreat in the U.S. Dollar Index. While the overall tenor for the dollar index is bullish, the PowerShares DB Dollar Bullish (NYSE: DB) closed on a down note today.

One situation regarding gold that has been flying under the radar somewhat is Italy. That's not to say Italy's economic struggles aren't well documented at this point. They are, but what isn't being widely acknowledged is the country is one of the largest gold consumers in the world and if demand falters there, it could be an ominous sign for gold.

On light volume, the iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) and the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) each gained about three-quarters of a percent. Other precious metals followed gold's lead on Tuesday with silver for July delivery rising 1.2% to $28.949 a troy ounce. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) also added 1.2% on below average turnover.

The other white metals got in on Tuesday's positive action as well as the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) added three-quarters of a percent. The ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) rose 0.4% on volume that wasn't even half the daily average.

With equities erasing Monday's losing, equity traders once again took a shining to miners and mining ETFs. The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL) surged 3% on weak trade while the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) climbed 2.4%. The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) impressed with 3.5%. That ETF closed just a penny below its high of the day.

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