Gold and silver shares relinquished their earlier gains on Tuesday afternoon alongside precious metals and the broader equity markets.
The broad-based sell-off was fueled in part by commentary from Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Charles Plosser, who argued in a speech that the Fed’s third round of quantitative easing (QE3) could threaten the central bank’s credibility and is unlikely to help the U.S. economy.
The U.S. dollar recovered its earlier losses following Plosser’s remarks, which helped put pressure on the precious metals sector.
The Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index (XAU) – which rose as much as 1.7% to 192.30 this morning – fell by 1.3% to 186.74 in afternoon trading. Notable XAU components in the red included Gold Fields (GFI), Harmony Gold (HMY), and Silver Standard Resources (SSRI). GFI dropped by 2.4% to $12.78, HMY by 5.8% to $8.49, and SSRI by 2.3% to $15.46 per share.
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As for the metals themselves, gold futures slid from an intra-day high of $1,777.90 per ounce this morning to $1,761 later in the day for a loss of 0.2%. Silver fared slightly worse than the yellow metal, retreating from $34.54 per ounce this morning to as low as $33.72 per ounce, representing a decline of 0.4%.