Gold and Silver Plunge, U.S. Budget Deficit Hits $680 Billion

On Thursday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — dropped $25.60 to close at $1,323.70 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures plunged $1.12 to finish at $21.87. Major exchange-traded funds, like the SPDR Gold Trust and iShares Silver Trust, also closed sharply lower.

Gold and silver both experienced weakness as positive economic reports were released. According to the Treasury Department, the U.S. Government’s budget deficit totaled $680 billion for the fiscal year that ended September 30. That is the smallest deficit since 2008.

“Under President Obama, the nation’s deficit has fallen for the past four years, the fastest pace of decline over a sustained period since World War II. It is now less than half of what it was when the President took office,” said Treasury Secretary Lew. “Congress must build on this progress by crafting a pro-jobs and pro-growth budget agreement that strengthens the economy while maintaining fiscal discipline.”

While the Federal Reserve has not seen enough economic strength to dial down its bond-buying programs, the latest gauge of manufacturing in the Midwest made a record jump. In October, the Chicago PMI surged to 65.9 from 55.7 in September. It was well above estimates calling for only 55.0, and the third largest one month increase in over 30 years.

By the end of the trading day, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) dropped 1.4 percent, while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) plunged 3.6 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) and Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) both fell nearly 3 percent. Shares of Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) declined more than 5 percent as the miner said it would halt development of its Pascua-Lama project in South America. Silver miners (NYSEARCA:SIL) First Majestic Silver (NYSE:AG) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE:EXK) fell 6 percent and 7 percent, respectively.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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