Gold prices settled lower Wednesday, giving up some gains from a day earlier when bullion registered its largest percentage rise in more than a decade.
Some commodity analysts attributed the retrenchment to some exhaustion after two powerful sessions of gains for the yellow metal, as theU.S. Congress draws closer to passing a $2 trillion rescue packageto help lessen the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Gold will ultimately benefit from the all this stimulus and the softer dollar, but today it is all about stocks,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda, in a market update.U.S. benchmark stock indexes climbed Wednesday, with investors pinning optimism on expectations for the passage of the rescue package.
Gold for April delivery GCJ20,
“The gold price is slowing down after two impressive sessions of gains,” wrote Carlo Alberto De Casa, chief analyst at ActivTrades, in daily note.
“The risk-on dynamic, which in the last 48 hours largely dominated the markets, is not supporting bullion prices, while investors are probably switching some liquidity back to stocks,” he wrote.
A report showing that U.S.orders for long-lasting, or durable, goodsclimbed 1.2% in February didn’t appear to impact bullion trading Wednesday. Underlying capital goods orders and shipments fell back, suggesting that “business equipment investment was on track to stagnate in the first quarter, even before the domestic spread of the virus crushed demand,” said Michael Pearce, senior U.S. economist at Capital Economics, in a note.
The outbreak of COVID-19, the infectious disease thathas infected more than 450,000 peopleand killed over 120,000, has been one of the biggest supports for buying of assets perceived as havens.
Investors are watching for the response by governments across the globe to the deadly pathogen, including the U.S. where lawmakers agreed upon a $2 trillion coronavirus relief package, one that must still pass votes in both the Senate and House.
Gold prices on Tuesday booked the largest one-day dollar gain based on records dating back to November 1984, and biggest daily percentage rise since March 2009, according to Dow Jones Market Data.
Traders in Europe “got spooked when the London spot price was ‘way out of whack’ to the gold futures price” Tuesday, by as much as a $100 discount to Comex gold futures at one point, said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com.
“The confusion in the London spot market prompted the big European metals traders to rush to buy Comex gold futures as a hedge, as they felt they could not get what they felt were accurate or fair London spot gold prices,” Wyckoff explained in a daily note.
“Also, there have been many reports the supply of physical gold bullion worldwide is hard to come by” as “gold mines around the globe have curtailed operations due to the Covid-19 outbreak,” said Wyckoff.
Among other metals Wednesday, May silver SIK20,