Precious metals climbed Wednesday for the first time in three days. Gold shifted back above $900 while crude jumped over $50 and then $51 a barrel. U.S. stocks rallied following two days of losses.
In New York trading futures for bullion:
Silver for May delivery rose 35.4 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $12.754 an ounce.
Gold for June gained $6.90, or 0.8 percent, to $900.50 an ounce.
- July platinum climbed $5.20, or 0.5 percent, to $1,106.80 an ounce.
"Gains [gold] were modest and were basically tracking the dollar and oil," wrote Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Bullion Dealers. "The $900 mark remains mainly a psychological obstacle as the real hurdle to overcome is nearer the $920 area."
"The weaker-than-expected GDP report could be the catalyst which moves the dollar lower and gold higher," Brian Kelly, chief executive officer of Kanundrum Research, was quoted on MarketWatch.
The U.S. economy contracted at a more than expected 6.1 percent rate in the first quarter — capping the worst performance in 50 years, the Commerce Department indicated Wednesday as it supplied the latest gross domestic product (GDP) data. However, the government’s report also showed consumer spending was higher and inventories were lower, suggesting retailers will need to place orders to stock up in merchandise.
In spot bullion, the benchmark London gold fix price stood at $898.25, rising $7.25 from the Tuesday PM fix. Silver lost 6 cents to $12.50 an ounce. Platinum was fixed $10.00 lower to $1,088.00.
Gold, considered a hedge during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty, tends to follow oil and move opposite to the U.S. dollar. A rising greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities, like bullion, more expensive for holders of other world currencies.
Oil and gasoline prices
Crude for June delivery surged $1.11, or 2.2 percent, to $51.03 a barrel. Prices at the pump climbed Wednesday following two prior days of declines. AAA said the national average for unleaded gasoline was two-tenths of a cent higher, rising to $2.050 a gallon. The average price per gallon is 1.2 cents lower than a week ago.
U.S. stocks rallied following the GDP news and late day Fed comments hinting that the recession could be easing.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 168.78 points, or 2.11 percent, to 8,185.73. The S&P 500 Index gained 18.48 points, or 2.16 percent, to 873.64. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 38.13 points, or 2.28 percent, to 1,711.94.