Military Action Against Syria Placed on Hold, Gold Drops $22

Wall St. Cheat Sheet

On Tuesday, gold (NYSEARCA:GLD) futures for December — the most active contract — fell 22.70 to close at $1,364 per ounce, while silver (NYSEARCA:SLV) futures dropped 70 cents to finish at $23.02.

Both precious metals experienced selling pressure as the Obama Administration agreed to consider a proposal that would force Syria to turn over its chemical weapons by allowing international inspectors full access. The move is widely being considered as a delay in taking military action against Syria. The sound of the war drums have aided investments such as gold and oil in recent weeks.

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Earlier this week, U.S. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid canceled plans to schedule a test vote on wether Congress would approve a strike against Syria. He said international discussions were ongoing and it was not important to “see how fast we can do this.” He added that, “We have to see how well we can do this.”

In afternoon trading, shares of the SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell 1.6 percent while the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV) dropped nearly 3 percent. Gold miners (NYSEARCA:GDX) Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM) and Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) declined 3.8 percent and 4.9 percent, respectively.

Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) shares also declined about 4 percent, despite one hedge fund saying the miner would unlock value by splitting its North and South American assets. Mike Morris, co-founder of Two Fish Management, explains, “Each distinct business unit has unique political environments, geologies, operating costs, reserve profiles, profitability, capital intensities, and growth prospects.” He believes a new Barrick consisting solely of the North American and South American operations could trade at $40 to $50 a share.

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Disclosure: Long EXK, AG, HL, PHYS

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