A day before European policymakers kick off what traders are anticipating will be another disappointing European Union summit, gold futures ticked high with COMEX gold for August delivery adding $3.50, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,578.40 an ounce. The intraday high was $1,584.60 an ounce. Overall, trade was light and listless for the yellow metal on a day when traders embraced riskier assets thanks to some bullish U.S. economic data points.
In economic news, the Commerce Department said durable goods orders rose 1.1% in May, good for the first increase since February. The National Association of Realtors said pending home sales jumped 5.9% in May following a 5.5% drop in April. Analysts expected a May increase of 1%-2%.
The EU has held multiple summits over the past two years in an effort to stem the Eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis with no substantive results. That is giving traders pause about bidding gold up ahead of the summit. Germany and its reluctance to embrace any program that would result in the purchases of Italian and Spanish debt seem to be throwing a wrench in the plans of goldbugs.
Volume was light among the major gold ETFs as well. The iShares Gold Trust (NYSE: IAU) posted a small gain on turnover that wasn’t even half the daily average. Same goes for the SPDR Gold Shares (NYSE: GLD): Small gain, pathetic volume.
Silver futures continued their downward swoon falling 10 cents, or 0.4%, to close at $26.94 an ounce. The iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV) lost another two-thirds of a percent and is drawing ominously close to support at $26.
Platinum futures edged lower, forcing the ETFS Physical Platinum Shares (NYSE: PPLT) lower by 1.2%. In the process, PPLT violated support at $140 and now appears vulnerable to more downside. On heavy trade, the ETFS Physical Palladium Shares (NYSE: PALL) plunged 3.2%, violating support at $58 along the way.
Once again, the miners were a mixed bad. The Global X Silver Miners ETF (NYSE: SIL) posted a small gain, but on light volume. The Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDX) gave up 0.4% while the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (NYSE: GDXJ) also lost 0.4% on slack volume.
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