Gold advanced for the fifth consecutive day in Thursday trading, with December futures jumping over three percent to $1,321.50 per ounce on the COMEX as the ripple effects of two weeks of shut-down government and the threat of national default continue to favor a traditional safe-haven role for the yellow metal.
One of those ripple effects during the day’s trading was the relative drop of the dollar, as speculation has taken hold that recent events will prompt the Federal Reserve to delay once more the inevitable winding-down of its $85 billion monthly quantitative easing program. The dollar has also been affected by the recently-ended Washington, D.C. calamity that caused one of China’s biggest credit-rating firms to downgrade the US from A to A-. It is well known that China has the largest holding of US treasuries of any nation.
David Wilson, a Citigroup Inc. (C) analyst in London said earlier in that day that "There was a knee-jerk reaction to the Chinese downgrading," and indeed estimates that 10 million ounces of gold, along with another 16 million of silver, traded immediately after the news was released.
In this climate, gold stocks of all sizes were in a celebratory mood and had rallied broadly to substantial gains shortly ahead of the closing bell. Major Canadian miners rose, including Barrick Gold (ABX) , up 5.60 percent to $18.61, Kinross Gold ($KGC) up 5 percent to $4.94, and Eldorado Gold (EGO) , up over 9 percent to $6.20.
US gold stocks were not left behind, with heavy trading sending Allied Nevada Gold (ANV) up 3.60 percent to $4.27, while Newmont Mining (NEM) jumped 5.30 percent to $27.25, and Royal Gold Inc. (RGLD) adding nearly 7 percent to $50.21.
Overall, speculation about a delay in the tapering of federal stimulus spending sent other precious metals higher, with silver futures for October delivery bumping up over 2 percent, nearing $22 per ounce.