Metals Stocks: Gold prices slide, set to halt 2 days of gains but holding above $1,700

Metals Stocks

What’s gold’s next move?

AFP/Getty Images

Gold futures fell on Tuesday, headed for the first loss in three sessions, with prices dragged down by optimism about the easing of business lockdowns in the U.S. and Europe in particular, and hopes for the speedy development for a vaccine, as the daily death tolls from the COVID-19 pandemic begin to decline.

“Risk appetite among investors improved with moves by major economies to ease lockdowns related to the coronavirus crisis,” analysts at ICICI Bank, wrote in a market update.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom late Monday said that certain retailers could open on Friday for curbside pickup, reflecting an easing in shutdown protocols in one of the first U.S. states to implement such measures to slow the pathogen’s spread.

Meanwhile, The Wall Street Journal reported that researchers at New York University and the University of Maryland School of Medicine said Tuesday that they began injecting people with the first of four vaccine candidates from Pfizer Inc.

and Germany’s BioNTech

The developments mark the most recent to experiment with a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, which has infected more than 3.6 million globally and claimed more than a half a million lives since emerging in Wuhan, China, in December, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Against that backdrop, June gold

was down $10.90, or 0.6%, at $1,702.40 an ounce, a day after rising 0.7%.

The precious metal failed to find haven support even after data released Tuesday showed the Institute for Supply Management’s survey of nonmanufacturing companies plummeted to 41.8% in April from 52.5% in March, breaking a string of 112 straight months of positive readings.

“Based on price action alone this week, the market appears to be adopting a more neutral stance for the time being with $1,720 and $1,740 expected to provide reasonably good resistance in the short term,” wrote Stephen Innes, chief global market strategist at AxiCorp, in a daily research note.

Still, the strategist was upbeat about prices for precious metals in the longer term. He said that “with economic data likely to pivot more positive soon, many investors have taken to the sidelines waiting for better levels to” buy gold.

Indeed, a new projection sees the U.S. coronavirus death toll doubling.

Meanwhile, July silver

picked up 17.9 cents, or 1.2%, at $14.975 an ounce, following a nearly 1% drop on Monday.

Elsewhere on Comex on Tuesday, July copper

lost half almost half cent, or 0.2%, at $2.309 an ounce, after the industrial metal ended virtually unchanged on Monday. July platinum

added 0.1% at $779.40 an ounce, while June palladium

lost 4.8% at $1,747.60 an ounce.

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