Gold and silver futures maintained their gains Thursday afternoon despite a rebound in the U.S. dollar. The greenback pared its losses against a basket of foreign currencies as the broader financial markets temporarily shifted into risk-off mode following the latest comments from U.S. Speaker of the House Boehner.
COMEX gold futures, per the February contract, finished higher by $10.70, or 0.6%, at $1,729.50 per ounce. In doing so, the yellow metal snapped a four-day losing streak.
Silver futures outperformed gold, as the COMEX March contract jumped $0.60, or 1.8%, to $34.37 per ounce in afternoon trading. The advance brought silver to its highest level since October 11th, exactly seven weeks ago.
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In contrast to the precious metals, gold and silver stocks oscillated between gains and losses on Thursday. The Philadelphia Gold & Silver Index (XAU), which earlier today rose by as much as 1.1% to 173.29, traded up by only 0.1% at 171.51 this afternoon.
Nonetheless, there were a few noteworthy XAU components that remained firmly in positive territory. Among gold producers, Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) and New Gold (NGD) climbed by 1.0% and 2.8%, respectively, to $56.27 and $10.69 per share. As for silver stocks, Pan American Silver (PAAS) added 1.3% to $19.12 per share while Silver Standard Resources (SSRI) jumped 3.7% to $13.64 per share.
As for the equity markets as a whole, they relinquished the majority of their gains in mid-day trading after Mr. Boehner announced that there has been “no substantive progress” in attempts to come to an agreement on the fiscal cliff and that “the White House has to get serious” on entitlement spending.
The S&P 500 Index slid from near 1,418 to as low as 1,409.04 following Boehner’s comments, while the U.S. Dollar Index climbed from an intra-day low of 80.021 to near the 80.30 level. However, the S&P lated climbed back toward 1,417 while the dollar subsequently retreated.