Gold and silver continued to slide lower Tuesday morning as the Commerce Department reported higher-than-expected retail sales for February and eurozone finance ministers approved Greece’s second round of emergency funding.
Spot gold was down 0.34% as of 11:20 p.m., having traded as high as 1,697.50 and as low as $1,682.10, according to Kitco market data. The London afternoon reference price was fixed at $1,690, a drop of $7.50 an ounce from Monday’s reference price.
Spot silver was showing a 0.3% loss, bid at $33.51 with an ask price of $33.61. The morning high as of time of writing was $33.73, and the low was $33.02. Tuesday’s reference price was set at $33.58 in the London a.m., 12 cents an ounce below Monday’s reference price.
The Commerce Department’s Census Bureau reported higher-than-expected seasonally adjusted estimates of a monthly gain in U.S. retail and food-services sales of 1.1% for February, 6.5% above that for February 2011. The December-to-January increase was revised upwards by 50%, from 0.4% to 0.6%.
Eurozone finance ministers approved a second, 130 billion euro ($170 billion) round of emergency funding for Greece, while Spain agreed to additional budget cuts of 0.5% more than originally planned. Under new EU rules, Spain would incur EU penalties of 0.2% of GDP should it fail to meet budget-deficit targets of 4.4% for 2012 and 3% for 2013.
While yields on Italian and Spanish government bonds have fallen below 5%, government bond yields of neighboring Portugal remain above 13%.
Gold bullion prices were drifting lower in London morning trading Tuesday, reaching as low as $1,694 an ounce, according to BullionVault’s London Gold Market report. “There’s not much going on, especially on the physical side,” Dick Poon, Hong Kong-based precious-metals manager at refiner Heraeus, said Tuesday morning. “Everybody is staying on the sidelines.”
Gold and silver trusts also were moving lower in U.S. stock exchange trading.
Gold and silver mining ETFs were showing gains.
The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDX) was up around 0.45%.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) was showing gains of nearly 0.8%.
The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) was up around 1%.
Gold mining shares were showing mixed results.
Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) was showing gains of nearly 0.5%.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was up slightly, less than 0.1%.
Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) was up nearly 1%.
Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) was up more than 0.5%.
Kinross Gold Corp. USA (NYSE:KGC) was dropping sharply, down around 1.75%.
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was down nearly 0.2%.
NovaGold Resources (NYSEAMEX:NG) was recovering, up some 1.45%.
Yamana Gold (USA) (NYSE:AUY) was up around 0.85%.
Silver mining shares were on the rise.
Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE) was showing gains of around 1.1%.
Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) was up sharply, some 1.73% higher.
Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS) was showing gains of around 1.15%.
Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) was up more than 0.9%.
Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ:SSRI) was up sharply, more than 2% higher.
As of this writing, Andrew Burger did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Adrian Ash of BullionVault contributed to this report.