Congress Not Ready to Make Nice; Precious Metals Mixed

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — declined $3.40 to close at $1,273.20 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures fell 16 cents to finish at $21.19. Major exchanged-traded funds, like the SPDR Gold Trust, managed to close higher.

Precious metals were mixed as the ongoing fiscal battle taking place on Capitol Hill has yet to reach an end. House Republicans offered another bill separate from the Senate’s that would delay the medical-device tax for two years and eliminate the Treasury’s ability to use extraordinary measures in future debt ceiling debates. Like the Senate’s bill, it would fund the government through mid-January and extend the debt limit to early February.

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However, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) rejected the House plan, saying it was a “waste of time” and a “blatant attack on bipartisanship.” He also added, “Let’s be clear, the House Republican legislation will not pass the Senate.” The White House also immediately shot down the plan.

Adding to the political circus, Sen. Richard Durbin from Illinois said negotiations have been suspended until House Republicans construct a plan on how to proceed with ending the partial government shutdown and raising the national borrowing limit.

By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) gained 0.7 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) edged 0.3 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) both jumped more than 3 percent. Shares of First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) jumped 1.1 percent.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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