Gold and silver were higher Thursday morning on a mix of news, earnings reports and economic data, including disappointing reports on U.S. unemployment and home sales.
Spot gold was up 0.21%, bid at $1,645.50 as of 11:21 a.m., having traded as high as $1,655.20 and as low as $1,630.10 an ounce, according to Kitco market data. The London afternoon reference price was set at $1,650, $6 an ounce higher than Wednesday’s afternoon reference price.
Spot silver was showing a 0.73% gain, bid at $31.86. The morning high as of time of writing was $32.16 and the low was $31.26. Thursday’s reference price was set at $31.47 an ounce in the London a.m., 14 cents an ounce below Wednesday’s price fix.
Weekly, seasonally adjusted claims for unemployment insurance rose a higher-than-expected 386,000 last week, while the previous week’s reading was revised upwards, from an initial 380,000 to 388,000, the Labor Department reported. Last week’s initial jobless-claims reading is a four-month high. The four-week moving average rose 5,500, to 374,750, the highest level since January.
Sales of previously owned U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in March — the third fall in the past four months, the National Association of Realtors reported. Previously owned home sales dropped 2.6%, to a 4.48 million annual rate in March.
Also on a positive note, Spain and France’s treasury auctions sold out. Spain sold 2.5 billion euros ($3.3 billion) of two- and 10-year bonds, while France sold 7.97 billion euros ($10.52 billion) of two- and five-year notes. The new benchmark 10-year was auctioned at 5.743%, up from 5.403 in January’s previous auction.
The IMF is $320 million towards its goal of raising at least $400 billion in new capital from member governments around the world as the IMF’s leadership plans to meet in Washington, D.C., in concert with the World Bank and G20 conferences. The U.S. isn’t contributing, saying it has met its commitment to the international banking system’s security by providing liquidity to the eurozone banking system through dollar swaps with central banks.
Gold bullion prices fell to near their two-week lows on a strengthening U.S. dollar and German bund prices rising to new record highs in London morning trading Thursday, BullionVault reported in its London Gold Market report.
“The upside is very heavy because the euro remains under pressure [versus the dollar],” Reuters quoted Peter Fung of Wing Fung Precious Metals in Hong Kong. “Weak physical demand isn’t helping,” he added, saying that a price drop to $1,600 would likely encourage traders to buy gold, BullionVault reported.
Gold and silver trusts were moving higher in U.S. stock exchange trading Thursday morning.
Gold and silver mining ETFs were moving higher as well.
The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDX) showed gains of around 0.3%.
The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) had gains of over 0.5%.
The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) was up nearly 0.6%.
Gold mining shares were mixed, with NovaGold Resources sharply higher.
Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) was showing gains of around 0.9%.
Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was down around 0.1%.
Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) was around 0.5% lower.
Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) was showing gains of more than 0.9%.
Kinross Gold Corp. USA (NYSE:KGC) was more than 0.5% higher.
Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was down around 0.13%.
NovaGold Resources (NYSEAMEX:NG) was up more than 1.8%.
Yamana Gold (USA) (NYSE:AUY) was down some 0.35%.
Silver mining shares were stronger, with Silver Standard Resources showing the greatest morning gains Thursday.
Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE) was showing losses of some 0.15%.
Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) was down nearly 0.5%.
Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS) was showing gains of around 0.2%.
Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) was up more than 0.4%.
Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ:SSRI) was up more than 2.15%.
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.