Gold and silver fell hard Wednesday as the U.S. dollar rallied from a five-month low against the euro and climbed for the first time in a week. Platinum managed a small gain while crude-oil plunged and U.S. stocks retreated.
In New York trading futures for bullion:
Silver for July delivery declined 64.5 cents, or 4.0 percent, to $15.31 an ounce. The day’s range was large, from $15.255 to $16.250.
Gold for August fell $18.80, or 1.9 percent, to $965.60 an ounce. The yellow metal was as low as $962.30 and as high as $992.10.
- July platinum gained $1.10, or 0.1 percent, to $1,244.50 an ounce.
"The first real day of corrections in the hitherto apparently unstoppable gold price took a toll on values today, and the action was once again precipitated by background countermoves in the US dollar and in crude oil," wrote Jon Nadler, Sr. analyst at Kitco.com.
"The market is certainly overdue for a downside correction," Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global in Chicago, said today. "Longer-term, we still see the market as being supported, with an advance above $1,000 an ounce possible over the next few weeks."
In spot bullion, the benchmark London gold fix price fell $3.25 to $976.75 an ounce. Silver gained 35 cents to $15.97 an ounce. Platinum was fixed $30.00 higher to $1,247.00.
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
Oil prices plunged following "government data showed an unexpected increase in inventories last week, while natural-gas futures tumbled nearly 9% on expectations for rising inventories," writes Polya Lesova and Myra P. Saefong from MarketWatch.
New York crude-oil for July delivery fell $2.43, or 3.5 percent, to close at $66.12 a barrel.
The national average for unleaded gasoline jumped 2.3 cents following Tuesday’s 1.3 cent gain. The price per gallon is now $2.548, according to AAA. That is 11.4 cents higher than a week ago and 47.5 cents higher than last month.
U.S. stocks on Wednesday "lost steam" after "mixed readings on the economy and ahead of retail sales and labor market reports due later this week.," writes Alexandra Twin from CNNMoney.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 65.63 points, or 0.75 percent, to 8,675.24. The S&P 500 Index declined 12.98 points, or 1.37 percent, to 931.76. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 10.88 points, or 0.59 percent, to 1,825.92.