Bullion Prices Hold Strong in Market Turmoil, Miners Decline

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On Wednesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December delivery increased $5.30 to settle at $1,730.10 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) jumped 39 cents to close at $32.88.

Both precious metals performed well as the market remains occupied with the fiscal cliff debate. President Obama held his first news conference since his re-election to discuss the economy and fiscal cliff, but the details were lacking.

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“If we right away say 98 percent of Americans are not going to see their taxes go up — 97 percent of small businesses are not going to see their taxes go up,” he said. “If we get that in place, we’re actually removing half of the fiscal cliff.”

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Further adding to market turmoil, the Israeli Air Force launched airstrikes in Gaza City, killing Ahmed Jabari, the head of Hamas’s armed wing. The attack also killed his son, Mohammed al-Homs.

The Times of Israel reports, “The army confirmed the airstrike on Jabari and said that it had launched a ‘widespread campaign on terror sites and operatives in the Gaza Strip, chief among them Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets.’ The IDF Spokesperson’s Office told The Times of Israel that the campaign was being referred to as ‘Operation Pillar of Defense.’ ‘By nature of his position, Jabari has been responsible over the past decade for all anti-Israel terror activity emanating from the [Gaza] Strip,’ the Shin Bet security agency said in a statement.”

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) finished slightly higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) closed 0.76 percent in the green. However, the miners did not perform as well. Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Goldcorp (NYSE:GG) both fell about 3.8 percent. Meanwhile, Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) and First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) plunged 6.16 percent and 7.75 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS