On Monday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — fell $15.10 to close at $1,272.30 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures dropped 37 cents to finish at $20.36. Major exchange-traded funds, like the SPDR Gold Trust and iShares Silver Trust, also finished the day in negative territory.
Both precious metals experienced selling pressure, despite the U.S. Dollar Index, which compares the greenback in a basket against six other flat currencies, trading lower.
“The U.S. Dollar continues to edge lower in the days after Federal Reserve Chair nominee Janet Yellen’s Senate testimony on Thursday, as the soon-to-be most powerful woman in the world made clear her intentions to keep monetary policy as loose as possible in the near-term,” said Christopher Vecchio, currency analyst at DailyFX. “In an environment quickly morphing back to one indicative of market participants reducing their expectations for a QE3 taper — the US yield curve has flattened, particularly in the 3Y-10Y maturity range.”
Last week, Yellen provided an overall sense of loose monetary policy, as unemployment levels still need to see improvement. “We have made good progress, but we have farther to go to regain the ground lost in the crisis and the recession,” said Yellen. “Unemployment is down from a peak of 10 percent, but at 7.3 percent in October, it is still too high, reflecting a labor market and economy performing far short of their potential.”
By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell 1.1 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) dropped 1.7 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) both declined more than 2 percent. Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) plunged 4.1 percent and 5 percent, respectively.
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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS