Gold futures broke a two-day loosing streak on Tuesday, rising modestly, while platinum and silver continued to decline for a third straight session. In other markets, oil fell below $63 a barrel and U.S. stocks plunged.
In New York trading futures for bullion:
Silver for September delivery fell 1.8 cents, or 0.1 percent, to 13.220 an ounce.
Gold for August delivery gained $4.80, or 0.5 percent, to $929.10 an ounce.
- October platinum declined $11.20, or 1.0 percent, to $1,135.80 an ounce.
Notable precious metal quotes on the day follow:
"While weakness in the economy should pressure risk markets like stocks, energies, and industrial metals, precious metals don’t always find themselves in the same boat," Tom Pawlicki, an MF Global Inc. analyst in Chicago, was quoted on Bloomberg. "We therefore look for stabilization of gold prices near the $915 support level."
"Doubts over the strength of the U.S. economy increased the allure of the dollar as a safe asset and that in turn has been putting pressure on gold," Tatsufumi Okoshi, a senior economist at Nomura Securities, was quoted on Reuters.
In London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed earlier in the day to $924.00 an ounce, a 50 cent decline. Silver gained 29 cents to $13.32 an ounce. Platinum was fixed $7.00 lower to $1,143.00.
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 declined for the sixth straight session on Tuesday. New York crude-oil for August delivery fell $1.12, or 1.7 percent, to close at $62.93 a barrel.
"Oil is coming down because people realized that it was in essence the beginning of another bubble, [and] that there was no fundamental justification for oil rising over $70 a barrel," Adam White, director of research at White Knight Research & Trade, was quoted on MarketWatch.
Prices at the pump continue to decline. The national average for unleaded gasoline fell seven-tenths of a cent, for the second straight day, to $2.604 a gallon, according to AAA. The price is 2.9 cents lower than a week ago and $1.50 down from a year ago.
U.S. stocks finished lower for the day as "as fears that the market has gotten ahead of any economic recovery were ramped up ahead of the start of the quarterly reporting period," writes Alexandra Twin of CNNMoney.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 161.27 points, or 1.94 percent, to 8,163.60. The S&P 500 Index dropped 17.69 points, or 1.97 percent, to 881.03. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 41.23 points, or 2.31 percent, to 1,746.17.