Precious metals came under heavy selling pressure on Friday as widespread liquidation engulfed financial markets.
COMEX gold futures slid $20.70, or 1.2%, to $1,724.00 per ounce – which extended the yellow metal’s weekly loss to 2.0%. Silver futures fared even worse, dropping $0.77, or 2.4%, to $32.10 per ounce this afternoon. In doing so, gold’s sister precious metal stretched its weekly decline to 4.7%.
The sell-off in gold and silver was driven in part by renewed strength in the U.S. dollar, which climbed 0.4% against a basket of foreign currencies.
Other commodities headed south as well, with copper futures declining 2.8% to $3.64 per pound and crude oil down by 2.2% to $90.05 per barrel.
Broad-based weakness in equities – fueled by worse than expected earnings results from several large-cap companies, including Google and Microsoft – also contributed to investors paring positions in many dollar-denominated asset classes. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) sunk 226.48 points, or 1.7%, to 13,322.46 – putting it on pace for its worst day since early June.
However, gold and silver stocks held up reasonably well – as the Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index (XAU) dropped only 0.7% to 184.71 – considering the weakness on Wall Street. Within the sector, notable XAU components outperforming the metals included Goldcorp (GG) and Silver Standard Resources (SSRI). Shares of GG inched up by 0.2% to $42.88 while SSRI rose 0.9% to $14.99.
(For more coverage and analysis of gold and silver mining companies, including rankings on over 90 stocks, visit GoldAlert Pro at http://pro.goldalert.com )
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