Commodities and stocks were given black eyes on Thursday, tumbling with declines attributed to fears over Europe’s ability to contain its sovereign debt crisis and increasing doubts over the strength of the global recovery.
New York gold futures pared earlier losses as some investors bought on dips. It fell 0.4 percent. Silver dropped further at 2.2 percent. Platinum and palladium were driven down the most, plunging 6.8 percent and 11.0 percent, respectively.
In other markets, crude oil ran its losing streak up to eight days, falling 2.3 percent, while U.S. stocks plummeted to extend recent declines. The major indexes posted losses that surrounded 4 percent.
New York precious metal figures follow:
Gold for June delivery fell $4.50 to $1,188.60 an ounce. It ranged from $1,175.00 to $1,198.20.
Silver for July delivery lost 40 cents to $17.715 an ounce. It ranged from $17.485 to $18.330.
- July platinum ended down $109.90 to $1,495.80 an ounce. It ranged from $1,490.30 to $1,625.00.
- June palladium plunged $50.75 to $408.95 an ounce. It ranged from $406.00 to $464.75.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"Gold may have further to correct short term, having pushed to just short of $1,250 last week and been overbought on the charts," James Moore, an analyst at TheBullionDesk.com in London, wrote in a report cited on Bloomberg. Still, "we expect investors who missed the boat the first time may view the current dip as a buying opportunity," he said.
"The flight-to-safety, tangible-asset crowd is still out there… just not strong enough to keep us positive," Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist with Lind-Waldock in Chicago, was quoted on MarketWatch. "One way to raise cash is to dump some of your winners" such as gold, Klopfenstein said.
"When gold hit highs last week we were looking for some correction. I wouldn’t be surprised if it [gold] tested $1,170," Walter de Wet, an analyst at Standard Bank was quoted on Reuters. "These [euro] debt problems are not going to go away overnight. Gold will continued to have this increased safe haven status."
"Precious metals extended their Wednesday losses overnight as continued continuing turmoil in the Old World unnerved investors and they ran to the sidelines (and the shelter of the US dollar)," wrote Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc. "The flux in the markets showed absolutely no signs of dissipation." [Read Nadler’s full morning commentary.]
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed earlier in the North American day to $1,192.00 an ounce, declining $3.00 from the price on Wednesday. Silver fell 60 cents to $17.930 an ounce. Platinum settled at $1,515.00 an ounce, declining $97.00. Palladium ended down $52.00 to $420.00 an ounce.
Oil and gasoline prices
Crude oil fell "mirroring steep losses for U.S. stocks and other commodities as investors wrung their hands about energy demand and feared Europe could derail the global economic recovery," wrote Claudia Assis and Polya Lesova from MarketWatch.
"Everyone’s wondering why oil has fallen $20 in less than a month," Adam Sieminski, chief energy economist at Deutsche Bank AG in Washington, was quoted on Bloomberg. "It’s a shift in sentiment about the economy. The Europeans are in trouble and the U.S. economic data is mixed."
New York crude oil for July delivery, the most active contract, declined $1.68 to $70.80 a barrel.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline fell 1.2 cents to $2.840 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The current average is 5 cents lower than last week, 1.9 cents less than a month back, but 50.6 cents higher than the average from a year ago.
U.S. stocks tumbled as a "weeklong rout deepened, with U.S. benchmark indexes losing the most in more than a year, as reports cast doubts about the strength of the economic recovery and European leaders struggled to contain the region’s debt crisis," wrote Whitney Kisling and Elizabeth Stanton of Bloomberg.
"The primary mover is coming from Europe. There are still fears of a debt crisis over there and the fact that it could spread to the banking system," Bernie McSherry, NYSE trader at Cuttone & Co in New York, was quoted on Reuters.
The Dow Jones industrial ended down 376.36 points, or 3.60 percent, to 10,068.01. The S&P 500 Index declined 43.46 points, or 3.90 percent, to 1,071.59. The Nasdaq Composite Index .IXIC fell 94.36 points, or 4.11 percent, to 2,204.01.
by Jon Nadler, Kitco Metals Inc.
Precious metals extended their Wednesday losses overnight as continued continuing turmoil in the Old World unnerved investors and they ran to the sidelines (and the shelter of the US dollar –which added another 0.53 on the index to once again aim for the 87-mark following its own decline last night). The flux in the markets showed absolutely no signs of dissipation as various statements were made by market observers.
For example, Germany’s Ifo Institute, a research body that gathers monthly business sentiment data, opined that the EU-IMF package ‘rewards speculators’ and that it ‘hurts German interests.’ Meanwhile, the common currency was up — and this helped dent the metals further- but was still struggling just above the 1.23 level, as perceptions that it is turning ‘radioactive’ have brought programs to diversify out of dollars to a standstill worldwide, and have replaced them with aggressive dollar-buying.
On the other hand, given the growing prospects for outright currency market intervention, some brave buyers might be starting to eye the battered currency. China could be one of those buyers as it seeks to broaden its reserve exposure. There appears to still be no gold buying checkmark on the country’s immediate shopping list however. Officials must not have read the plethora of hard-money newsletter-based guarantees that showed them buying it throughout the past six months…
New York spot precious metals dealing opened with sharp losses in gold and staggering losses in the noble metals complex. The yellow metal started the session with an $11.50 loss per ounce, quoted at $1179.90 and shortly after the opening it headed to under the $1175.00 level. Should support fail to hold near these levels or some massive buying wave sweep gold significantly higher soon, the prospects of a slide towards the $1100-1150 area might open up, and change the game significantly. Resistance is now in place up near $1210.00 as well as higher. For the moment however, the meltdown is in full swing and shows little in the way of abating.
Silver dropped another 48 cents this morning, starting the day off at $17.72 and, it too, was later apparently aiming towards lower support levels as it dipped to $17.50 –trouble is each day brings a new one into focus. The most significant damage this morning was inflicted (once again) in percentage terms upon platinum and palladium. The former lost $111.00 an ounce to drop to the $1490 mark shortly after the open, while the latter crumbled by $46 per ounce to reach $412.00 this morning.
Crude oil fell $1.72 this morning, Dow futures did not bode well, and the US dollar remained firm following the US Labour Department’s report that 25000 more people filed for jobless claims last week, pushing the tally up to 471,000 — the highest in one month.
The formerly soaring group of noble metals suffered a triple-whammy hit over the past several sessions; a combination of coattail effect from gold sellers, the perception that the eurozone turmoil could result in a global double-dip, and the loss of car registration numbers in Europe in April (a near 22% loss that is). Evidently, locals were busy watching Greece crumble and were in no mood to buy shiny new wheels.
All of this, despite news that a) Russia may have exhausted the supplies of its saleable palladium, and b) that catalytic converter thefts are on the rise once again, underscoring the ‘desirability’ on these relatively rare metals among certain ‘investors.’ The trouble here – in this writer’s view –is an acronym that may yet come to haunt the gold market as well: ETF effects.
No one should delude themselves that ETFs which control sizeable portions of a metal’s annual supply will not affect the market when they either court it or sour on it. The largest of gold ETFs for example, holds nearly 1/3 of total annual gold supplies (or about half of annual global gold mine output) in its vaults, and NOT in tungsten-filled candy wrapper-coated form, either. Redemptions from such a pool cannot be ignored, should not be ignored.
Market-maker Heraeus’ veteran Miguel Perez-Santalla opined in this morning’s analysis that: This morning you are going to hear a lot of technical mumbo-jumbo about what is going on. In reality this is a classic scenario. After Platinum dropped 100 dollars yesterday the traders with deep pockets were probably as surprised as you were about the apparent weakness. True to form, the same guys would then think to themselves: Hey there are probably more weak hands at this table! So since there was no fundamental news to change the scenario from one day to the next they applied pressure and, Boom! Platinum is down another $100!
These are the kind of moves that in a market which is relatively small compared to capital markets, and even gold, are going to happen from time to time. Is the bloodletting over? We can’t be sure at this point but there is definitely some good industrial buying coming into the market at these price levels that will add some support and maybe bring this collapse to a halt."
Something that shows no signs of coming to a halt is the emerging war on Glenn ‘Arguing With Idiots" Beck and his incessant (but explainable) gold-oriented propaganda. Time News Feed reports that ‘New York Congressman Anthony Weiner clearly watches his news broadcasts live, because he’s seen some ads that have really ticked him off. On numerous occasions, Glenn Beck has dedicated entire segments of his program to explaining why the U.S. money supply is destined for hyperinflation with Barack Obama as president.
He will often promote the purchase of gold as the only safe investment alternative for consumers who want to safeguard their livelihoods. Also mentioned by name in the report: Fred Thompson, Dennis Miller, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Lars Larson, Michael Smerconish, Monica Crowley and Mike Huckabee."
Can Sarah Palin and the Tea Party be far behind in urging people to pile into gold for sheer survival purposes because the USA will turn into Zimbabwe? Probably not. They already have G*d and G**ns on the ‘must-have’ agenda.
Happy (Careful) Trading.
Kitco Metals Inc.
In addition to bullion American Silver Eagles that are already available, the United States Mint this year will also issue 5 oz. bullion America the Beautiful Silver Coins that are duplicates of the America the Beautiful Quarters. The first of five coins will be released this summer, with the remaining four to follow in short intervals. Check the above link to visit a sister site to CoinNews for more information on the series.