Gold futures were volatile Monday as uncertainty and fear dominated trading at the start of the week. April-dated gold futures were recently falling $8.10 to $915.10 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The contract has traded as low as $908.60 and as high as $932.50 so far during the session. Silver prices were slipping 24 cents to $13.03 an ounce.
Doubts continue over the viability of a world economic recovery, and that's weighing on long-term gold and silver demand, says Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco.com. "These are realities that these markets can't escape," he says. "Underlying investment demand, while robust, has a hard time overcoming the absence of primary demand. India and the region extending up to the Middle East are on a buying holiday." Elsewhere in the precious metals complex, platinum was falling $9.50 to $1,118.50 an ounce as investors worried that a General Motors ( GM) or Chrysler ( DAI) bankruptcy would diminish demand for platinum, which is used in car engines. Next, the focus turns to the G-20 summit, specifically what role gold will play in the financing efforts for poorer nations. Nadler believes the outcome of the G-20 will be more moderate than some investors think and primarily will focus on a worldwide stimulus. As for gold stocks, the big names were declining at midday. Newmont Mining ( NEM) originally rose more than 1% on news that an Indonesian investor had raised his stake in the company to 27% from 20%, but the stock pulled back to trade down 34 cents at $45.31. Barrick Gold ( ABX) fell 0.7% to $32.02, and Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) was down 1.3% to trade just below $56.