GOLD PRICE NEWS – The gold price dropped to near a one-month low on Tuesday amid widespread weakness in precious metals. Earlier this morning, the spot price of gold fell by as much as $22.65, or 1.3%, to $1,693.72 – its lowest level since November 6th. The gold price subsequently recouped a small portion of its loss as it stabilized near the $1,700 level. The SPDR Gold Trust (GLD), a proxy for the price of gold and the world’s largest gold ETF, fell by $1.64, or 1.0%, to $164.49 per share.

Silver, as it customarily does during sell-offs, fared worse than the gold price as it slid by as much as $0.77, or 2.3%, to $32.86 per ounce. Among other precious metals, platinum futures retreated by 1.6% to $1,587.40 per ounce while palladium turned lower by 1.1% to $683.65 per ounce. Among cyclical commodities, crude oil futures dipped by 0.6% to $88.57 per barrel while copper bucked the trend by posting a small gain of 0.1% at $3.66 per pound.

Gold stocks headed south in concert with the price of gold, but outperformed the yellow metal. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) initially dropped by $0.75, or 1.6%, to $45.73 per share but later recovered over half of its decline to trade down by just 0.6% at $46.19. The gold stocks sector lagged the broader equity markets, however, as the S&P 500 Index fell by only 0.1% to 1,408.02.

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Notable gold stocks in the red included GDX components Agnico-Eagle Mines (AEM) and IAMGOLD (IAG) – which fell by 2.6% to $53.67 and by 1.8% to $11.47 per share, respectively. In contrast to its peers, Barrick Gold (ABX) – the world’s largest gold mining company – advanced by 0.7% to $33.95 per share.

Today’s weakness in gold prices was not accompanied by a U.S. dollar rally, however. The greenback fell by 0.2% against a composite of foreign currencies – including the euro, yen, and pound – as the escalating fiscal cliff situation continued to dominate the political headlines. The euro posted a modest gain of 0.2% against the dollar as it climbed to 1.3085 – its highest level since October 18th.

Despite the slide in the price of gold, demand for the yellow metal remains firm, according to analysts at Commerzbank. In a note to clients, the firm wrote that “Gold ETFs tracked by Bloomberg recorded inflows yesterday for the twelfth consecutive day of trading, so the lower prices are clearly being regarded as an attractive opportunity to buy.”

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