New York gold futures retreated 1.0 percent on Thursday, dropping the most in a week as safe-haven buying weakened, risk appetite strengthened and a touch of profit-taking emerged.
Other metals followed with their own declines, with silver falling the most at 2.1 percent.
Crude oil, however, surged as prices jumped to a three-week high. U.S. stocks posted mostly modest gains following a late afternoon rally.
New York precious metal figures follow:
Gold for August delivery declined $12.60 to $1,210.40 an ounce. The yellow metal ranged from $1,202.40 to $1,226.50.
Silver for July delivery plunged 38.4 cents to $17.931 an ounce. It ranged from $17.825 to $18.475.
- July platinum retreated $7.50, or 0.5 percent, to $1,542.90 an ounce. It ranged from $1,541.20 to $1,568.20.
- September palladium fell $2.50, or 0.6 percent, to $450.80 an ounce. It ranged from $447.00 to $464.95.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"The flight-to-quality appeal of gold has been put on the back burner," Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago, said on Bloomberg. "Traders and investors are embracing risk again."
"The issue about the euro zone and its financial troubles will be an underlying issue for a good few months to come … and it’s these macroeconomic factors that have driven gold for the past two years and I don’t see why they should stop being factors," Virtual Metals analyst Matthew Turner was quoted on Reuters.
Risk appetite has somewhat increased this week amid more stable world financial markets –or at least no fresh, major developments that have further unsettled investors," noted Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News. "This has put modest downside price pressure on gold, some of which is profit-taking from recent gains … with no chart damage occurring. Recent history does show that any significant corrective pullback in gold prices has been a bargain-hunting buying opportunity for investors."
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold price remained unchanged at $1,215.00 an ounce. Silver lost 16 cents to $18.270 an ounce. Platinum settled at $1,565.00 an ounce, adding $23.00. Palladium rose $12.00 to $462.00 an ounce.
United States Mint gold and silver American Eagle bullion coins enjoyed a lustrous May. Gold Eagle sales reached their highest levels since 1999 while Silver Eagles soared to heights not seen since 1986. Respective May sales for the gold and silver one ounce coins came in at 190,000 and 3,636,500.
Oil and gasoline prices
Crude oil rallied, shaking "off an early wavering to post a 2.4% bounce as investors focused on a larger-than-expected decline in the nation’s stockpiles of oil and gasoline," wrote Claudia Assis and Kate Gibson, from MarketWatch.
"Gasoline demand exceeds last year’s levels and prices are set to move higher this summer," Jason Schenker, president of Prestige Economics LLC, an Austin, Texas-based energy consultant, said on Bloomberg. "This will support crude oil."
New York crude oil for July delivery climbed $1.75 to close at $74.61 a barrel.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline fell seven-tenths of a cent to $2.716 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The current average is 4.3 cents lower than last week, 18.8 cents less than a month back, but 16.8 cents higher than the average from a year ago.
U.S. stocks rallied later in the day as tech shares surged and investors prepared for Friday’s U.S. jobs report from the Labor Department.
"Investors are optimistic about tomorrow’s jobs numbers," Eric Teal, who oversees $4.5 billion as chief investment officer at First Citizens BancShares Inc. in Raleigh, North Carolina, was quoted on Bloomberg. "The jobs picture is showing signs of improvement. There is obviously still concern about Europe and China. But some of that risk has already been priced into stocks and the market got technically oversold."
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 5.74 points, or 0.06 percent, to 10,255.28. The S&P 500 Index .SPX advanced 4.45 points, or 0.41 percent, to 1,102.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index climbed 21.96 points, or 0.96 percent, to 2,303.03.