Precious metals on Tuesday headed slightly south, as did oil and U.S. stocks. Commonly cited catalysts for the negative swings were new government reports indicating March had weaker than expected retail sales and an unexpected fall in producer prices.
In New York trading futures for bullion:
Silver for May delivery lost a half cent, or 0.04 percent, to $12.765 an ounce.
Gold for June fell $3.80, or 0.4 percent, to $892.00 an ounce.
- July platinum lost $28.70, or 2.3 percent, to $1,218.30 an ounce.
"There are signs of a sentiment change that may boost risk appetite and equity markets at the expense of debt and safe- haven markets," Tom Pawlicki, an MF Global Ltd. analyst in Chicago, was quoted on Bloomberg. "This tug-of-war will be decided by fresh money coming from the sidelines which will choose risk markets over safe havens."
In spot bullion, the benchmark London gold-fixing price stood at $887.50 an ounce. Silver ended at $12.65. Platinum moved to $1,222.00
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-oil prices dropped for the second straight day. Oil for May delivery fell 64 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $49.41 a barrel. In news consumers can better appreciate, albeit slightly, AAA said the average prices for unleaded gasoline fell one-tenth of a cent to $2.05 a gallon.
U.S. stocks sank. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 137.63 points, or 1.71 percent, to 7,920.18. The S&P 500 lost 17.23 points, or 2.01 percent, to 841.50. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 27.59 points, or 1.67 percent, to 1,625.72.