Precious metal prices remained subdued yesterday – though bulls will have been encouraged to see gold and silver prices rebound quickly off of the lows reached early in the trading session. At one point the September Comex silver contract dropped as low as $26.59 per ounce, though the price recovered quickly to settle at $29.93 for an intraday loss of 0.4%.
In contrast to last week’s bout of risk aversion that saw silver dramatically underperforming the yellow stuff, yesterday saw September Comex gold underperform silver – losing 2.8% ($45) to settle at $1,592.50 per ounce. Palladium futures suffered similar losses, down 2.4% to $627.40 per ounce. Among the precious metals, platinum was the biggest loser of the day, with the most actively traded Comex platinum contract (October) settling down 4.1% ($66.30) at $1,546.90 per ounce.
Though the markets remain nervous, there are signs that commodities may be starting to recover from last week’s selling frenzy. Corn, crude oil, wheat and – crucially – copper futures all settled higher yesterday, with traders encouraged by reports that European officials are putting together a “grand plan” to deal with the eurozone debt crisis. Officials are hoping that the plan can be released at the Paris G20 in the first week of November.
Much can go wrong between now and then however – not least Thursday’s vote in the German parliament on whether or not to raise German funding for the European Financial Stability Facility from €123 billion to €211 billion. In addition, the Greek parliament is due to vote today on a proposal to raise the country’s property tax rate, a measure that the country’s government hopes will convince the European Union and International Monetary Fund to authorise a new €8 billion loan to the country. However, 70% of Greeks are opposed to the tax rise, and observers believe the vote will be close. A defeat for the government would push Greece closer to default and could lead to renewed selling in stock and commodity markets.
As far as precious metals are concerned, however, it’s important for people to keep such price corrections in perspective. Jesse’s Café Americain links to a chart that shows the gold price adjusted for inflation since 1914. The recent sell-off in gold and silver does not alter the fundamentals that are underpinning this bull market.