Gold futures edged slightly higher in New York on Tuesday, marking a seventh straight day of increases. The yellow metal pared earlier gains as the US dollar showed a touch of strength. In other commodities, silver, platinum and crude oil all retreated. US stocks ended mixed following Monday’s rally.
New York precious metal figures follow:
Silver for December delivery fell 25.8 cents, or 1.5 percent, to $17.222 an ounce. It ranged from $17.160 to $17.650.
Gold for December delivery rose $1.10, or 0.1 percent, to $1,102.50 an ounce. It ranged from $1,097.20 to $1,109.70.
- January platinum declined $16.00, or 1.2 percent, to $1,351.20 an ounce.
Notable bullion quotes of the day follow:
"Given all the noises hedge funds have been making, plus all the noise surrounding further potential central bank buying, it is difficult to see much of a downside," Societe Generale analyst David Wilson, was quoted on Reuters.
"Gold is clearly overbought, gold is clearly over- participated in by the investing/speculating public, and gold needs a good sound thrashing to take the late-comers out of the positions and in the process restore relative health," economist Dennis Gartman said in his Suffolk, Virginia-based Gartman Letter, that was cited on Bloomberg.com.
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed earlier in the day to $1,101.50 an ounce, which was a $5.25 decline from the Monday PM price. Silver plunged 42 cents to $17.26 an ounce. Platinum was set down $1.00 to $1,354.00 an ounce.
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 dropped slightly as "futures briefly traded above $80 a barrel Tuesday, but turned lower in the afternoon as U.S. stocks fell and the dollar strengthened, pressuring dollar-denominated oil prices," wrote Polya Lesova and Moming Zhou of MarketWatch
"There’s a divide in the market," Michael Fitzpatrick, vice president of energy with MF Global in New York, said on Bloomberg.com. "There are those who say that demand will increase as the economy recovers and a sizable camp that doesn’t see this happening in the near term. The dollar is a barometer of the outlook for the economy."
New York crude-oil for December delivery retreated 38 cents, or 0.5 percent to $79.05 a barrel. It ranged from $78.15 to $80.51.
Prices at the pump headed lower. The national average for unleaded gasoline fell six-tenths of a cent to $2.658 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The price is 2.8 cents lower than last Tuesday, 17.9 cents more than a month back, and 41.8 cents higher than a year ago.
U.S. stocks closed mixed as "trading stayed in a tight range on investor caution after the previous day’s rally," wrote Julianne Pepitone of CNNMoney.com.
"There’s a lot of conflicting signals as to whether we get a sharp year-end rally with money pouring in, or whether we start to see profit-taking as investors look ahead to a potential jobless recovery in 2010," Michael Sheldon, chief market strategist at RDM Financial in Westport, Connecticut, was quoted on Reuters.
The Dow Jones industrial average gained 20.03 points, or 0.20 percent, to 10,246.97. The S&P 500 Index fell 0.07 of a point, or 0.01 percent, to 1,093.01. The Nasdaq Composite declined 2.98 points, or 0.14 percent, to 2,151.08.