The Commerce Department said that retail sales grew 0.7% last month, outpacing economists’ forecasts and suggesting a strengthening economy. The improving economic news added weight to growing speculation that the Federal Reserve could begin tapering its monthly stimulus as early as this month.
Gold futures for February slid 2.6% to $1,224.90 per ounce on Thursday, according to CME Group. Gold traded as high as $1,256.50 and as low as $1,222.60. Bullion closed in London at $1,229, according to BullionVault.
Silver futures for March delivery tumbled 4.4%, to $19.45 per ounce. Thursday’s high for silver was $20.35, while the low was $19.41.
Metal funds sank on Thursday.
- The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) slipped 2.1%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) also fell 2.1%.
- The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) dropped 3.8%.
Mining ETFs faded during the day.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) decreased 0.9%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) dipped 0.6%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) retreated 1.6%.
Gold stocks mostly declined on Thursday.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) fell 1.2%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) rose 0.4%.
- Eldorado Gold (EGO) slid 1.8%.
- Goldcorp (GG) dipped 0.4%.
- Kinross Gold (KGC) was flat.
- Newmont Mining (NEM) sank 0.8%.
- NovaGold Resources (NG) slipped 1.7%.
- Yamana Gold (AUY) edged down 0.1%.
Silver mining shares mostly retreated during the day.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) slid 1.2%.
- Hecla Mining (HL) pulled back 2.1%.
- Pan American Silver (PAAS) gained 1%.
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) dipped 0.8%.
- Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) dropped 1.8%.
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.