U.S. gold prices jumped $17.50 on Thursday, marking its biggest one-day rally in eight weeks. Safe-haven buying was the name of the game as investors shied away from riskier bets.
Other metals climbed higher as well, with silver gaining 0.9 percent, platinum rising 0.7 percent and palladium advancing 1.4 percent.
Crude oil prices, on the other hand, plunged 2.9 percent for a third straight day of losses. U.S. stocks closed lower for a third session as well, with the major indexes falling between 0.5 and 0.9 percent.
New York precious metals closing prices follow:
Gold for December delivery soared 1.5 percent to $1,216.70.00 an ounce. It ranged from $1,199.50 to $1,218.50.
September silver rose 16.3 cents to end at $18.065 an ounce. It ranged between $17.850 and $18.105.
Platinum for October delivery gained $11.00 to $1,531.60 an ounce. It ranged from $1,507.00 to $1,534.40.
September palladium advanced $6.35 to close at $471.05 an ounce. It ranged between $459.05 and $474.75.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"We’re seeing safe-haven demand come into gold," Jim Steel, an analyst at HSBC Securities in New York said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "Despite the fact that some of this is deflationary, people are interested in buying gold."
"The recent sell-off has left speculative long positions in gold oversold relative to U.S. real interest rates, which we believe has set the stage for a rally to our six-month gold price target of $1,300/ounce," a research note from Goldman Sachs said.
"At this point is it relatively safe to say that the dollar, the yen, and a bit of gold are back in safe-haven fashion after the Fed’s implicit admission that more (time or money) is needed to get the derailed economic freight car back on track," noted Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc. "Questions remain as to gold’s ability to make a run for ‘it’ (higher than $1230+ levels) in the wake of possible margin calls from the stock market’s cratering, and in the face of serious muscle being flexed by the US dollar."
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed to $1,213.00 an ounce, rising $7.50 from the PM price on Wednesday. Silver declined 20 cents to $17.920 an ounce. Platinum settled at $1,524.00 an ounce, falling $16.00. Palladium lost $6.00 to $469.00 an ounce.
In bullion coin news, the United States Mint has indicated it anticipates producing 500,000 America the Beautiful 5 oz Silver Bullion Coins this year. The 3-inch, .999 fine silver coins will replicate the designs of the new circulating America the Beautiful Quarters™, and distributed through the U.S. Mint’s network of authorized purchasers. The Mint expects to begin producing the silver pieces in the fall.
Oil and gasoline prices
Crude oil prices declined, "falling for a third straight session as global economic worries dragged equities and overshadowed energy trading, and as the dollar remained strong," wrote Claudia Assis and Nick Godt of MarketWatch.
"There’s an overall impression that we might be headed into a difficult period, and that’s dragging down sentiment for oil," Thina Saltvedt, a commodities analyst at Nordea Bank AB in Oslo, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "We need some more positive macro news to support prices at $80, and based on the latest numbers from the U.S. and China, I think that might be tough."
New York crude oil for September delivery plunged $2.28 to close at $75.74 a barrel.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline rose four-tenths of a cent to $2.780 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The price is 1.5 cents higher than a week ago, 6.7 cents more than a month back, and 13.5 cents above the price from a year ago.
U.S. stocks closed slightly lower Thursday. An unexpected rise in U.S. jobless claims coupled with disappointing earnings and caution from Cisco were cited as major reasons.
"Cisco’s earnings were not good, and coupled with initial jobless claims, we have more signs that the recession is still upon us," Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading, said and was quoted on CNNMoney.com.
The Dow Jones industrial edged down 58.88 points, or 0.57 percent, to 10,319.95. The S&P 500 Index lost 5.86 points, or 0.54 percent, to 1,083.61. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 18.36 points, or 0.83 percent, to 2,190.27.