New York gold futures surged 1.6 percent on Tuesday and finished the day at a new record of above $1,220 an ounce. Silver rallied to top $19 an ounce.
Safe-haven buying was again the topic of the day for the metals as the euro zone debt crisis was still in the mind’s of investors. Doubts and caution surfaced as to whether the $1 trillion bailout plan would contain all the European Union’s sovereign fiscal problems.
While those concerns drove gold higher, they were cited as a reason for crude oil’s decline and a volatile day in U.S. stocks.
New York precious metal figures follow:
Gold for June delivery soared $19.50 to $1,220.30 an ounce. It ranged from $1,201.50 to $1,235.20.
Silver for July delivery surged 74.2 cents, or 4.0 percent, to $19.294 an ounce. It ranged from $18.405 to $19.425.
- July platinum rose $7.30, or 0.4 percent, to $1,700.80 an ounce. It ranged from $1,677.00 to $1,708.80.
- June palladium climbed $7.70, or 1.5 percent, to $532.20 an ounce. It ranged from $511.60 to $535.00.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"When you’ve got this much uncertainty in the world, there are no other good alternatives than gold," Matt Zeman, a metal trader at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago, said on Bloomberg. "Europe is just piling more debt on top of more debt. It’s just a matter of time before you see runs on banks."
"The rise reflects doubts about whether fringe euro-zone economies can reduce debt as well as lingering concerns about a possible contagion," Ross Norman, a gold trader at TheBullionDesk.com, was quoted on MarketWatch.
"Gold has now consistently shown that it does not have to follow the so-called traditional inverse relationship with the dollar. It is front and center assuming its role as the currency of choice," Bill O’Neill, partner at New Jersey-based commodities firm LOGIC Advisors, said on Reuters.
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed earlier in the North American day to $1,222.50 an ounce, advancing $26.00 from Monday. Silver declined 4 cents to $18.420 an ounce. Platinum settled at $1,689.00 an ounce, falling $5.00. Palladium ended down $7.00 to $521.00 an ounce.
In related gold and silver news for coin collectors, the United States Mint has scheduled a June 3 Gold Buffalo coin launch which was revealed in its updated 2010 product schedule. June and July will offer several new releases, to include annual proof and silver sets and the next First Spouse Gold Coin honoring Jane Pierce.
Oil and gasoline prices
Crude oil declined on Tuesday "on risk aversion amid doubts that the $1 trillion rescue package aimed at stabilizing the euro would work to keep Greece’s debt problems from spreading," reported Gene Ramos of Reuters.
"Greece and other macro aspects are dominating the market, leading to higher risk aversion," Hannes Loacker, an analyst at Raiffeisen Zentralbank Oesterreich in Vienna, was cited on Bloomberg. "For the time being we’ll stay below $80, but with U.S. product demand improving we should go back above it within two months."
New York crude oil for June delivery retreated 43 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $76.37 a barrel.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline also declined. The price fell seven-tenths of a cent to $2.901 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The current average is three-tenths of a cent lower than last week, 3.8 cents more than a month back, and 67.5 cents higher than the average from a year ago.
U.S. stocks ended mixed as they "seesawed Tuesday, losing steam late in a volatile session, as investors welcomed Europe’s $1 trillion aid package, but showed caution amid the recent market turmoil," wrote Alexandra Twin of CNNMoney.com.
"There’s still a good amount of skepticism about whether or not the support plan works, whether or not European governments are ready to do the hard part of it and implement this austerity program," Frank Lesh, a futures analyst and broker at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said on Reuters.
The Dow Jones industrial average fell 36.88 points, or 0.34 percent, to 10,748.26. The S&P 500 Index declined 3.94 points, or 0.34 percent, to 1,155.79. The Nasdaq Composite Index rose slightly by 0.64 of a point, or 0.03 percent, to 2,375.31.