Gold defied normal trends on Wednesday, dropping in the face rising Middle Eastern tensions and a strike by South African gold miners.
Lawmakers in Washington have signaled that President Barack Obama is likely to get congressional authorization for a series of air strikes against the regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, who has been accused of using chemical weapons against rebels in the country’s two-year civil war. Military action in the region usually boosts the metal’s safe haven appeal.
South African gold mines were also hit with walkouts and protests on Wednesday by miners who are demanding higher pay and better working conditions.
Gold futures for December delivery dropped 1.6% to $1,390 per ounce on Wednesday, according to CME Group. Gold traded as high as $1,415 and as low as $1,384.60. Gold bullion closed in London at $1,396, according to BullionVault.
Silver futures for December delivery tumbled 4.2% to $23.42 per ounce. Wednesday’s high for silver was $24.43, while the low was $23.38.
Gold and silver funds fell in Wednesday trading.
- The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) slid 1.3%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) also declined 1.3%.
- The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) sank 3%.
Gold and silver mining ETFs were mostly lower during the day.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) rose 0.6%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) dipped 0.8%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) moved down 1.2%.
Gold mining shares mostly advanced on Wednesday.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) added 1.3%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) dipped 0.5%.
- Eldorado Gold (EGO) inched up 0.1%.
- Goldcorp (GG) climbed 0.6%.
- Kinross Gold (KGC) rose 0.5%.
- Newmont Mining (NEM) increased 0.5%.
- NovaGold Resources (NG) dropped 3.2%.
- Yamana Gold (AUY) gained 0.1%.
Silver mining shares mostly sank during the day.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) rose 0.1%.
- Hecla Mining (HL) declined 1.7%.
- Pan American Silver (PAAS) fell 1.5%.
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) slipped 0.4%.
- Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) dropped 2.7%.
As of this writing, Christopher Freeburn did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Adrian Ash of BullionVault contributed to this report.