Gold and silver were sharply lower Thursday morning amid weak economic data and the Fed’s decision to refrain from doing anything more in the way of monetary easing than extending its “Operation Twist” open market operations.
Spot gold was 2.02% lower as of 12:01 p.m., bid well below $1,600 an ounce at $1,574.40. The morning high reached $1,593.80, with the low at 1,565.80, according to Kitco market data. The London afternoon reference price was fixed at $1,582, $19 an ounce higher than Wednesday’s price fixing.
Spot silver was moving sharply lower as well, down 3.2% and bid at $27.72. The day’s high thus far was $27.84 and the low $26.89. The London a.m. reference price was fixed at $27.88, 43 cents lower than Wednesday’s reference price.
Seasonally adjusted weekly claims for state unemployment insurance benefits decreased by 2,000, to 387,000. The less volatile four-week moving average rose 3,500, to 386,250, its highest level since December, the Labor Dept. reported. Markit’s Flash Purchasing Managers Index for the U.S. fell to 52.9 in June from 54 in May, its lowest since last July.
May existing-home sales decreased to a 4.55 million annual rate, down 1.5% from April, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The European Commission reported that its monthly composite Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) for the eurozone was unchanged at 46, its lowest since June 2009 and below the 50 level that indicates economic expansion.
Gold bullion continued to move lower in London morning trading Thursday, hitting an eight-session low of $1,587 an ounce and down 2.5% on the week to date, BullionVault reported.
“Achieving a durable and prompt exit from the euro-area crisis, as well as avoiding the US ‘fiscal cliff’ [due start-2013] is crucial for sustained global recovery,” BullionVault paraphrased a new report from the International Monetary Fund on the outlook for the G20 group of large economies. An eighth consecutive decline in HSBC’s preliminary “flash” estimate of China’s PMI also weighed on markets.
Gold and silver trusts were showing sharp losses Thursday morning.
- The SPDR Gold Trust (NYSE:GLD) was showing losses of around 2%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (NYSE:IAU) was trading around 2% lower.
- The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE:SLV) was down around 3.4%.
Gold and silver mining ETFs were down sharply.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDX) was down around 3.5%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE:GDXJ) was down a startling 5.35%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE:SIL) was down more than 4.4%.
Gold mining shares were also showing sharp morning losses.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) was nearly 3.75% lower.
- Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) was around 3.5% lower.
- Eldorado Gold (NYSE:EGO) was down around 3.4%.
- Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) was around 2.8% lower.
- Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC) was down more than 4%.
- Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) was showing losses of around 3.75%.
- NovaGold Resources (AMEX:NG) was down nearly 4.9%.
- Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) was around 3.9% lower.
Silver mining shares were sustaining sharp losses as well.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (NYSE:CDE) was down around 5.9%.
- Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) was down some 5.15%.
- Pan American Silver (NASDAQ:PAAS) was down around 4.3%.
- Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) was down nearly 5%.
- Silver Standard Resources (NASDAQ:SSRI) was down more than 5.5%.
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.