Early morning physical buying and bargain-hunting in gold and silver was phased out as investors opted for cash, although both metals rallied from session lows. Reports of slowing global growth, as indicated by slowing manufacturing output in the U.K., slowing industrial production in the eurozone, and weaker industrial output in China, had investors more concerned about anemic growth than inflation. The Federal Reserve will end its $600 bond buying program in June at a time when there is talk of Greece needing to restructure its debt and the International Monetary Fund is warning of contagion issues. China also raised the amount of money banks must keep in their coffers by 50 basis points in an attempt to take money out of the economy, which have many worried of high inflation and a growth slowdown that is too hard too fast. Uncertainty and crisis can typically be good for gold and silver as they become a safer place to store cash, but many experts think that hedge funds and traders are finding it harder to borrow money to trade with which forces them to sell other assets to free up cash.
According to a quarterly Bloomberg Global Poll of 1,263 investors, analysts and traders, nearly 1 in 3 said they would hold more cash and 30% were planning to dump some of their commodity holdings.