Gold Gets Small Lift To End Q1

GLDNew York, March 30th ( – Well, at least gold ended the first quarter on an up note. The last several weeks have seen the yellow metal trade mainly under heavy selling pressure, so up days are to be embraced at this point, but gold still was not able to make its way back above the all-important $1,700 an ounce area. Comex gold for June delivery climbed $17, or 1%, to settle at $1,671.90 an ounce while the U.S. dollar index was slightly weaker on the day.


As it hard it may be to believe, gold ended the first quarter with a 6.3% gain. Gold may have gotten a lift today as professional money managers did some dip buying, perhaps in an effort to appease clients that are thinking gold is cheap at current levels. For the first quarter overall, there’s no doubt that traders’ expectations of an ongoing low interest rate environment in the U.S., something that has been confirmed by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, helped prop up gold prices.


Some decent economic data here in the U.S. helped add some luster to gold today. The Commerce Department said personal spending rose 0.8% in February, following an upward revision to a 0.4% increase in January. Economists expected a 0.6% increase for February. Personal incomes rose 0.2%, but economists expected a 0.4% increase. The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan final March consumer sentiment reading climbed to 76.2 from 75.3 in February. The preliminary March reading was 74.3.


The SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD) and the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: IAU) each gained half a percent on the day, but both funds are down almost 2.7% in the past month. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) gained 0.1% on volume that was barely more than a third of the daily average. SLV has plunged almost 9% in the past month.


Copper closed higher on the day as the iPath DJ-UBS Copper TR Sub-Index ETN (NYSE: JJC) gained 0.4%. The Global X Copper Miners ETF (NYSE: COPX) gained 1%, but volume was just half the daily average. Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) added 1.1%, but the stock has closed lower seven of the past eight weeks. On the other hand, some traders are arguing that those looking short FCX here are very late to the party.


On light turnover, the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) gained almost three-quarters of a percent while the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) jumped 1.3%, also on light trade.


The Globa X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL), the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) all closed brutal months on up notes, led by GDXJ, which popped almost 1.7%.

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