After rising sharply yesterday, gold reversed course in Thursday trading, giving back much of the previous day’s gains after two reports stoked investor worries over an early start to Federal Reserve stimulus tapering.
The Labor Department reported that first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell below 300,000 last week, suggesting a strengthening job market. In a separate report, the Bureau of Economic Analysis revised upward its estimate of U.S. gross domestic product growth during the third quarter to 3.6%. However, the government noted that much of the higher growth rate stemmed from rising inventories, which pointed to weaker consumer spending.
Fed officials have signaled that the central bank will begin to trim its monthly bond-buying when it sees signs of sustained economic growth.
Gold futures for February delivery fell 1.2% to $1,231.90 per ounce on Thursday, according to CME Group. Gold traded as high as $1,243.20 and as low as $1,216.30. Bullion closed in London at $1,228, according to BullionVault.
Silver futures for March delivery dropped 1.3% to $19.57 per ounce. Thursday’s high for silver was $19.72, while the low was $19.22.
Metal funds pulled back on Thursday.
- The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) sank 1.4%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) fell 1.3%.
- The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) slid 1.6%.
Mining ETFs moved lower during the day.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) declined 2.5%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) dropped 3.4%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) moved down 2.5%.
Gold stocks sank on Thursday.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) sank 3.1%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) fell 1.7%.
- Eldorado Gold (EGO) dropped 3%.
- Goldcorp (GG) also faded 3%.
- Kinross Gold (KGC) dipped 1.1%.
- Newmont Mining (NEM) slid 2.9%.
- NovaGold Resources (NG) moved down 2.6%.
- Yamana Gold (AUY) retreated 2.2%.
Silver mining shares declined during the day.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) dropped 3.3%.
- Hecla Mining (HL) waned 1.4%.
- Pan American Silver (PAAS) pulled back 2.7%.
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) fell 1.8%.
- Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) slid 1.7%.
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.