Gold and Silver Hold Steady on Eurozone Developments

On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for April delivery, the most active contract, dipped $2.90 to settle at $1,673.50 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures for March increased 26 cents to close at $31.88.

Both precious metals were relatively stable as the euro rebounded against the U.S. dollar. The European Central Bank announced that its balance sheet declined to the smallest level in almost a year.

The central bank’s balance sheet dropped by 159.1 billion euros to 2.77 trillion euros in the week ended February 1, 2012. The decline is the result of banks in the eurozone repaying emergency loans. However, other central banks such as the Federal Reserve and the Bank of Japan continue to see their balance sheets expand to historic highs.

By the end of the day, the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) closed flat, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) edged 0.23 percent higher. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) such as Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) increased 0.53 percent and 0.30 percent, respectively. Silver names such as Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) gained 1.5 percent and 0.43 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS