Precious metals on Wednesday reversed course from the prior day’s negative movement and ended with slight gains. Oil posted a minimal loss while U.S. stocks pulled off a late day rally.
In New York trading futures for bullion:
Silver for May delivery gained 3.5 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $12.80 an ounce.
Gold for June rose $1.50, or 0.2 percent, to $893.50 an ounce.
- July platinum climbed $6.70, or 0.5 percent, to $1,225.00 an ounce.
The Labor Department reported consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in March, which shows inflation in check. That was less than good news for the safe haven appeal of inflation-hedging gold. The yellow metal’s ability to stay afloat Tuesday despite the numbers was noted by more than one analyst.
"The lower CPI print is certainly not friendly to gold," Brian Kelly, chief executive officer of Kanundrum Research, a commodities and macroeconomic research firm was quoted on MarketWatch. But "the strength in gold suggests the safe haven bid may be returning."
"With all the quantitative easing and low interest rates, inflation is going to head up again. That is why gold only moved a few dollars,” Walter de Wet from Standard Bank was quoted on Reuters.
In spot bullion, the benchmark London gold-fixing price stood $3.50 higher from the day prior to $891.00 an ounce. Silver was advanced 29 cents to $12.935. Platinum was fixed $6.00 lower to $1216.00.
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
For the second straight week, the Energy Information Administration reported U.S. crude inventories rose more than expected, with demand for petroleum down 5.2 percent from a year ago.
With that, crude-oil prices dropped for the third straight day. Oil for May delivery fell 16 cents, or 0.3 percent, to $49.25 a barrel.
In news for consumers, prices at the pump rose slightly. The average price for unleaded gasoline climbed one-tenth of a cent to $2.051 a gallon, according to AAA.
The Fed’s Beige Book on Wednesday reported that five of the twelve U.S. districts showed a moderation in the pace of decline, and a few experienced signs that activity in certain sectors was stabilizing.
That was cited as a contributing factor for the late afternoon stock rally. The Dow Jones industrial average climbed 109.44 points, or 1.38 percent, to 8,029.62. The S&P 500 added 10.56 points, or 1.25 percent, to 852.06. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.08 points, or 0.07 percent, to 1,626.80.