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Gold, Silver Prices Get Pummeled

Stocks in this article: HMY

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Gold prices were in free fall Thursday despite continued concerns about unrest in the Middle East and growing worries about Eurozone debt woes.

Gold for April delivery fell $17.10 to settle at $1,412.50 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The gold price today has traded as high as $1,431.80 and as low as $1,403 while the spot gold price was losing more than $19, according to Kitco's gold index.

"If in fact gold does sink and break the $1,400 psychological level then, of course, we will be open to new discussions," says Jon Nadler, senior analyst at, who was looking to $1,415-$1,410 as a support level.

Silver prices settled down 98 cents to $35.06 after the metal settled at a 31-year high Wednesday of $36.04 an ounce. "People better get used to $1-$2 moves intra-day," argues Nadler.

Gold and silver may have been expected to move higher on safe haven buying, but instead were getting lumped in with a broad market selloff.

There were reports that Gadhafi loyalists bombed an oil field in Libya as fighting escalated. Moody's struck out at Eurozone nations again, this time downgrading Spain's credit rating one level to aa2 with a negative outlook citing worries over the country shoring up its banking system. Moody's cut Greece's credit rating Monday and downgraded 6 of its banks Wednesday.

EU leaders will meet on Friday to discuss making its bailout facility permanent as well as outlining rules for those countries seeking cash. Analysts now expect this agreement to be a watered-down version of what was expected as countries like Ireland and Greece, who have accepted bailout money, balk at high loan rates and steep deficit reductions complaining they are too punitive.

The Bank of England also left interest rates at 0.5%, which was expected, as the easy cheap money flow continues in the country even as inflation nears 4%.

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