Gold and silver were lower Friday morning as Q1 2012 earnings reports filtered in, China reported weaker-than-expected Q1 GDP and concerns about eurozone debt linger.
Spot gold was lower, down 0.32% bid at $1,669.90 as of 11 a.m., having traded as high as $1,676 and as low as $1,663.30 an ounce, according to Kitco market data. The London afternoon reference price was set at $1,666.50, $3 an ounce lower than Thursday’s afternoon reference price.
Spot silver was showing a loss of 0.96% gain, bid at $32.07. The morning high as of time of writing was $32.43 and the low was $31.82. Friday’s reference price was set at $32.365 an ounce in the London a.m., more than 85 cents an ounce higher than Thursday’s price fix.
U.S. consumer prices rose 0.3% in March, while core prices, excluding food and energy, rose a seasonally adjusted 0.2%, the latter in line with market expectations and the former 0.1% above. The Consumer Price Index (CPI) has risen 2.7% year-over-year, down from 2.9% in February, the Labor Dept. reported. Core CPI has risen 2.3% during the past 12 months, while hourly wages adjusted for inflation fell 0.1% on average in March.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary reading of U.S. consumer sentiment unexpectedly dropped slightly, from 76.2 in March to 75.7 for April. The survey’s barometer of current economic conditions dripped from 86 to 80.6, its lowest level since December, though its consumer-expectations metric rose to 72.5 from 69.8.
DJIA and bank index components Wells Fargo and JP Morgan both reported better-than-expected Q1 earnings, while Google, in addition to registering impressive revenue and bottom-line growth, declared a stock split that includes creating a new class of non-voting common shares.
Running above 9% for most of 2011, China’s Q1 GDP fell to 8.1% growth, below market expectations of 8.4%. China watchers are taking heart from March data, including positive readings on retail sales, industrial activity and bank lending that lead them to believe the Chinese economy isn’t going to fall precipitously and that Beijing’s recent credit-easing measures will foster faster growth in subsequent quarters.
Gold bullion prices were set to close out the week on the plus side and were hovering around $1,680 an ounce, a level last seen 10 days ago, BullionVault reported in its London Gold Market report.
“We have now closed well above the short-term bear channel,” technical analysts at bullion bank Scotia Mocatta commented. “The previous resistance level at $1,656 should provide some support,” they add, citing current resistance at $1,680.
Dublin-based Goldcore has examined recent seasonal trends in gold prices. Here’s what it found:
- April and May have been positive months for gold in terms of returns.
- April has returned 1.4% per annum in the course of the current bull market since 2000.
- May has returned 1.75% per annum in the course of the current bull market since 2000.
- Interestingly, the last month of Q1 and Q2, March and June, have been negative in terms of returns.
- March in particular has seen the poorest returns for any month in the last 11 years, with average falls of 0.6%.
Gold and silver trusts were moving lower in U.S. stock exchange trading.
Gold and silver mining ETFs were heading south.
The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDX) was showing losses approaching 1%.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) was showing losses of around 1.5%.
The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) was down around 1.3%.
Gold mining shares were broadly lower, though Eldorado Gold, Kinross Gold and Newmont Mining were breaking ranks.
Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) was showing losses of more than 1.5%.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was down some 1.2%.
Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) was around 0.35% higher.
Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) was showing losses of nearly 0.7%.
Kinross Gold Corp. USA (NYSE:KGC) was up more than 0.4%.
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was up between 0.1%-0.2%.
NovaGold Resources (NYSEAMEX:NG) was down nearly 0.6%.
Yamana Gold (USA) (NYSE:AUY) was down around 1.15%.
Silver mining shares were mixed.
Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE) was showing losses of more than 2.1%.
Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) was down nearly 1.5%.
Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS) was showing losses of nearly 0.8%.
Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) was down around 1.1%.
Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ:SSRI) was nearly 1.6% lower.
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.