The HSBC China Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) slid to a reading of 48.3 in February, down from 49.5 in January. A reading lower than 50 suggests contracting manufacturing activity. China is a major buyer of physical gold. Lower economic growth could cool Chinese appetite for the metal.
Gold futures for April delivery moved down 0.3% to $1,316.90 per ounce on Thursday, according to CME Group. Gold traded as high as $1,318.70 and as low as $1,307.10. Bullion closed in London at $1,326, according to BullionVault.
Silver futures for March delivery dropped o.8% to $21.68 per ounce. Thursday’s high for silver was $21.79, while the low was $21.40.
Metal funds gained on Thursday.
- The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) added 1%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) rose 1%.
- The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) climbed 1.8%.
Mining ETFs advanced during the day.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) gained 4.1%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) surged 6.4%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) increased 3.5%.
Gold stocks moved sharply higher on Thursday.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) rose 5.8%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) jumped 6.1%.
- Eldorado Gold (EGO) climbed 3.6%.
- Goldcorp (GG) added 3.8%.
- Kinross Gold (KGC) increased 5.4%.
- Newmont Mining (NEM) moved up 2.9%.
- NovaGold Resources (NG) advanced 3.9%.
- Yamana Gold (AUY) gained 2.8%.
Silver mining shares improved during the day.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) rose 3.5%.
- Hecla Mining (HL) added 4.4%.
- Pan American Silver (PAAS) surged 6.3%.
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) gained 4.1%.
- Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) climbed 5.7%.
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.