Gold and Silver Finish Q1 Higher, Dollar Slumps 1.5%

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On the final trading day of the quarter, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery increased $17.10 to settle at $1,669.30 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures jumped 49 cents to close at $32.48.

The U.S. dollar (NYSE:UUP) declined against the euro as finance ministers increased the size of the euro zone’s bailout fund. Spain also released its budget plan, which is suppose to cut 27 billion euros in spending this year.

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The European bailout fund will total 700 billion euros, an increase from 500 billion euros. The amount was below the 1 trillion euro level promoted by international officials, but the amount came in line with overall market expectations and appeared to relieve investors from sovereign debt concerns for now. The U.S. dollar index finished the quarter about 1.5 percent lower.

In afternoon trading, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) edged .53 percent higher, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) gained .29 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Yamana Gold, Inc. (NYSE:AUY) and Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) increased 1.2 percent and .58 percent, respectively. Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) such as Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) and First Majestic (NYSE:AG) both climbed more than 1 percent higher.

As the chart from FINVIZ.com below shows, it has was an impressive quarter for precious metals. Platinum prices increased 17 percent, while gold and silver gained 16.1 percent and 6.5 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric McWhinnie at staff.writers@wallstcheatsheet.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at editors@wallstcheatsheet.com