Metals Tumble on Manufacturing News

Brittney Barrett  |

Gold futures continued their slide for the third consecutive session as rising strength in the dollar weakened the appeal of the metal. The decline was minimal; however, as U.S. manufacturing data fell beneath expectations and concern over the Greek debt crisis continued to influence investors.

Greece’s request for a referendum on its bailout package renewed panic about the future of the global economy and the state of the euro. Meanwhile, domestic and Chinese manufacturing data indicated that the U.S. economy continues to struggle and helped prevent a free fall in gold and related stocks while negatively impacting more industrial metal stocks like steel and copper.

United States Steel Corp. (X) fell sharply, losing over three percent of its value while AK Steel (AKS) fell close to six percent and Steel Dynamics Inc. (STLD) shed over four percent, leading the sector lower.

Copper also took a hit in trading with Freeport McMoRan (FCX) down over three percent. Other leaders by Market Cap also saw their values weakened by the manufacturing news. Rio Tinto plc ADR (RIO) and Southern Copper Corp (SCCO) all declined on the news. Copper prices had been rising again as some economists chose to revise their predictions for annual growth and take more optimistic view of the economy, but the return of the European banking cloud has reversed those gains.

It also did this to silver stocks and silver futures, which fell around 4.7 percent for the day. Miners dealing in silver seemed to be immune to the weakness in the commodity with most ending flat or only slightly lower. Silvercorp. Metals Inc. (SVM) was an exception declining by close to 7 percent. The company, which is the primary silver producer in China, may have been negatively impacted by the news that manufacturing the nation is down. The company announced plans to reveal their earnings on November 8 and judging by the market reaction, investors are no longer feeling optimistic about it.

Miners of gold were also flat for the most part as mixed economic factors, the strength of the dollar against U.S. economic uncertainty, pulled shares in either direction. Barrick Gold (ABX) declined only 0.36 percent while Newmont Mining Corp. (NEM) stumbled 1.8 percent lower.  The majority of gold miners look to be in the negative for the year after gold’s most recent decline. The weakness in miners has been largely consistent as they remain highly depleted in relation to the price of gold. SPDR Gold Fund ETF (GLD), which tracks the price of physical gold is up over 20 percent YTD, even after taking a hit over the last three session.;

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