Gold futures rose in early trading Wednesday as Wall Street's second quarter started with a thud for stocks. June gold, the most active contract, was up $5.20 at $930.20 an ounce in recent trading at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver prices rose 6 cents to $13.04 an ounce, and copper was declining 1 cent to $1.83.
Although March ended on a positive note for the Dow Jones Industrial Average, investors are gearing up for potentially bad economic and earnings data, as well as possible inaction and disagreements coming out of the G-20 Summit. In times of uncertainty or crisis, some investors turn to gold as a safer alternative investment. Traders started buying ahead of the day's data in the U.S., which included employment figures from ADP, says Carlos Sanchez, associate director of research for CPM Group. "Gold climbed around 5 a.m. this morning. Gold prices had been holding at about $920 ... and you had some buying there." Going forward, gold could see increased volatility, but he predicts it "will trend higher overall," especially if the European Central Bank lowers rates, a gold agreement is solidified during the G-20 meeting U.S. unemployment climbs. In gold stocks, Newmont Mining ( NEM) rose slightly to $44.76. Reports indicate that foreign investors in the company's Indonesian subsidiary must sell their 17% stake to the government within three months. Barrick Gold ( ABX) was trading up more than 2.5% to $33.13, and Yamana Gold ( AUY) was advancing 2.4% to $9.30. Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) ticked up slightly to $56.90.