Gold futures (NYSEARCA:GLD) fell to their lowest settlement since December, and silver futures (NYSEARCA:SLV) slumped to their worst in more than a decade, although both metals significantly cut earlier losses as short covering kicked in.
April Comex gold closed -2% to $1,486.50/oz. after falling more than 4%, and May silver sank -12% to $12.816/oz. after tumbling as much as 19%.
Traders were "exiting everything which is giving them profit," but gold's inability to fall below key support at $1,440/oz. "resulted in short covering and subsequent buying," including good physical demand in Asia, Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants, tells MarketWatch.
But precious metals miners are strong gainers today: GOLD +7.8%, NEM +7.7%, KGC +18.6%, AUY +13.3%, IAG +15.4%, FNV +12.3%, AU +32.6%, GFI +30.5%, HMY +11.5%, SBSW +12.7%, AEM +6.8%, WPM +4.5%, AG +16.2%, EXK +13.5%, PAAS +10%.