Gold and silver prices rose Tuesday but companies that mine the precious metals fell as the broader market gave up recent gains, signalling a lack of confidence in Europe's ability to solve its sovereign debt concerns.
In afternoon trading gold for August delivery rose $26.40 to $1,781.90 and silver added 78 cents to $40.80.
Most gold mining companies were lower, with Barrick Gold Corp. off 55 cents to $50.13, Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. down $1.11 to $63.60 and Hecla Mining Co. off 4.27 percent to $7.17.
Silver companies fared no better. Silver Wheaton Corp. was down 2.9 percent to $37.54, Coeur d'Alene Mines Corp. fell 2.8 percent to $26.71 and Silvercorp Metals Inc. dropped 3.8 percent to $9.07.
The S&P 500 was down 15.34, or 1.27 percent, to 1,189.15 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 109.51 to 11,373.39. The Nasdaq composite index declined 40.96 to 2,514.24.
Traders were disappointed at news that Europe's strongest economy only grew 0.1 percent in the second quarter.
It's just a lack of confidence," said Peter Thomas of PFG Best. "It's a global situation. Germany just came out with startlingly bad numbers today. People couldn't believe they are doing so poorly."
Thomas also said investors, especially European ones, are opting for physical gold over stocks in gold mining companies because of a lack of confidence in paper assets.