Gold inched up in Thursday trading on news that Russia has launched new military drills along its border with Ukraine. The metal was also bolstered by a report that China’s economic growth slowed significantly in January and February. U.S. equities markets tumbled during the day.
Pro-Russian leaders in Crimea have scheduled a referendum on the region’s secession from Ukraine for Sunday. Western leaders have denounced the referendum and threatened Russia with economic sanctions if it does not end its intervention in Ukraine. The new military maneuvers, which involve thousands of troops along the Ukrainian border, appear to underscore Russia’s dismissal of European and American warnings.
The Chinese government released data showing that investment, manufacturing and retail activity had slumped during the first two months of the year. At a news conference, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said that the Chinese economy would face “severe challenges” this year.
Gold futures for April delivery rose 0.1% to $1,372.40 per ounce on Thursday, according to CME Group. Gold traded as high as $1,375.70 and as low as $1,364.90. Bullion closed in London at $1,373, according to BullionVault.
Silver futures for May delivery dropped 16 cents to $21.20 per ounce. Thursday’s high for silver was $21.48, while the low was $21.11.
Metal funds were mixed on Thursday.
- The SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) rose 0.3%.
- The iShares Gold Trust (IAU) added 0.3%.
- The iShares Silver Trust (SLV) fell 0.5%.
Mining ETFs improved during the day.
- The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) climbed 2.6%.
- The Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) surged 3.7%.
- The Global X Silver Miners ETF (SIL) increased 1.6%.
Gold stocks advanced on Thursday.
- Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) added 2.3%.
- Barrick Gold (ABX) rose 2.2%.
- Eldorado Gold (EGO) increased 2.7%.
- Goldcorp (GG) jumped 2.8%.
- Kinross Gold (KGC) surged 5.7%.
- Newmont Mining (NEM) moved up 1.9%.
- NovaGold Resources (NG) gained 3.6%.
- Yamana Gold (AUY) rose 2.2%.
Silver mining shares mostly gained during the day.
- Coeur d’Alene Mines (CDE) fell 1%.
- Hecla Mining (HL) added 2.9%.
- Pan American Silver (PAAS) climbed 2.1%.
- Silver Wheaton (SLW) rose 1.8%.
- Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) increased 3.7%.
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.