Gold traded in a tight range this week as global stock markets continued to do well and investors displayed caution ahead of a meeting of European Central Bank (ECB) officials.
Gold retreated to below $1,670 per ounce Wednesday, but rebounded to as high as $1,682.10 Thursday as bullion traders snapped up bargains on a price dip that occurred after ECB President Mario Draghi announced that European economies are on an upswing. Precious metals generally move in inverse relation to good economic news. However, Draghi also hinted that he is worried about the European currency appreciating, and that sunk the euro and hiked the US dollar. The dollar was also helped by news that US jobless claims fell by 5,000; unfortunately, that caused gold to sputter.
At the close of trading on Thursday, spot gold was down $6.20 and finished at $1,671.10. COMEX gold futures for April dropped $7, to $1,671.80.
Deutsche Bank analyst Daniel Brebner as saying that gold has struggled to build upward momentum this year due to better economic data boosting the appeal of stocks and industrial commodities. “Certainly the stronger performance of more conventional assets, certainly equity markets, has taken the shine off gold,” he said.
“Safe-haven assets have performed fairly poorly as expectations of growth have improved … and a lot of those debt-related risks have for the time being faded into the background. In that kind of environment, there is no significant motivation for gold prices to rise on the basis of investment demand,” he continued.
The big news this week was Silver Wheaton's (TSX:
,NYSE:SLW) announcement that it will acquire a gold stream worth US$1.9 billion from two of Vale's (NYSE:VALE) mines in Brazil and Canada. Silver Wheaton said it will buy 25 percent of the gold by-product from Vale's Salobo copper mine for the life of the mine, as well as 70 percent of the gold produced from its Sudbury nickel mines for 20 years.
The world's largest precious metals streaming company will pay Brazil-based Vale an initial cash payment of $1.9 billion plus warrants; that includes $1.3 billion for the Salobo stream and $570 million for the Sudbury stream. Vale will also receive future cash payments for each ounce of gold delivered under the agreement.