Gold, silver fall on strong economic signals

Surging auto sales and the diminishing likelihood of an immediate U.S. strike on Syria pushed down precious metals prices Wednesday.

Energy prices also fell as traders anticipated no short-term disruptions to the flow of oil from the Middle East.

Gold for December delivery fell $22, or 2 percent, to $1,390 an ounce. Silver dropped $1.013, or 4 percent, to $23.369 an ounce.

Other metals also fell.

December copper fell 6.354 cent, or 2 percent, to $3.2410 a pound. October platinum fell $43.50, or 3 percent, to $1,494.70 an ounce and December palladium fell $19.70, or 3 percent, to $698.25 an ounce.

Energy prices also fell as traders anticipated that any strike on Syria wouldn’t happen soon.

Crude oil for October delivery fell $1.31 to $107.23 a barrel in New York.

Russian President Vladimir Putin warned the West Wednesday against taking one-sided action in Syria. However, he didn’t rule out supporting a U.N. resolution on strikes if it is proved that Damascus used poison gas on its own people.

In Washington, a Senate committee approved the use of force against Syria but the full Senate won’t vote on the measure until next week.

In other energy trading, wholesale gasoline was flat at $2.86 per gallon, heating oil fell 1 cent to $3.14 per gallon and natural gas rose 2 cents to $3.68 per 1,000 cubic feet.

November soybeans fell 34.25 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $13.525 a bushel. December corn fell 5.75 cent, or 1.2 percent, to $4.695 a bushel and December wheat edged down a penny to $6.4625 a bushel.

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