Gold futures continued to rise Wednesday after a lackluster start to the U.S. earnings season increased demand for the metal. Futures were climbing $4.70 to $892.80 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Silver prices were up 12 cents to $12.32 an ounce, and copper was unchanged at $1.99 a pound. Gold investors closely watched quarterly numbers from Alcoa ( AA) Tuesday, which unofficially began earning season. The aluminum company reported a quarterly loss of 59 cents a share and a 36% decline in revenue. Prices for gold recovered slightly, but Philip Klapwijk, chairman of GMFS, believes futures will head even lower. "I just feel there is more short term downside
some of which has already materialized. The support level will be between $800 and $850 from physical demand from price sensitive markets in Asia and the Middle East." Some gold analysts argue that earnings season is a potential catalyst for gold. Positive results could signal an economic recovery in the second half of the year, which may boost inflationary expectations. Gold historically does well in times of high inflation, along with being seen as a safe haven in periods of uncertainty. Klapwijk, however, thinks the markets are in a "bear market rally and equities will take a beating later on. Economic growth won't pick up that significantly that quickly on earnings levels." In gold stocks, Newmont Mining ( NEM) was flat at $42.62. Yamana Gold ( AUY) was relatively unchanged at $8.17, and Barrick Gold ( ABX) was down slightly at $29.05. Agnico-Eagle Mines ( AEM) was trading at $50.42, and the Gold Shares ( GLD) exchange-traded fund was flat at $86.74.