Gold and Silver Finish More Than 1% Lower

On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for June delivery fell $19.20 to settle at $1,634.80 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures declined 64 cents to close at $30.01. It was gold’s lowest close since April 23.

Both precious metals declined for their third consecutive day as the European Central Bank did not lower interest rates or offer additional stimulus at a meeting in Barcelona today. However, ECB President Mario Draghi left the door open for more action in the future. “There are significant downside risks to the ECB’s growth outlook,” said Joerg Kraemer, chief economist at Commerzbank, according to Bloomberg. “Draghi indirectly hinted at next month’s ECB meeting when the bank will publish its new projections. Since the ECB may lower its growth forecasts, the rate-cut discussion will stay with us.”

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In the United States, the Labor Department reported that jobless claims declined 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000 for the week ended April 28. Economists were only expecting claims to decrease to around 379,000. The better-than-expected jobless claims number may have the markets feeling like more quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve is unnecessary, but investors are likely to focus on Friday’s unemployment report.

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) decreased 1.11 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) fell almost 2 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) dropped more than 3 percent. Meanwhile, silver names such as Silver Wheaton (NYSE:SLW) and Pan American Silver Corp. (NASDAQ:PAAS) declined 3.4 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS