The metal’s retrenchment comes a day ahead of what’s expected to be additional monetary stimulus courtesy of the European Central Bank.
Gold for April delivery GCJ6, -0.52% shed $5.50, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,257.40 an ounce. It lost roughly 0.6% over the past two trading sessions. May silverSIK6, -0.43% fell 2.4 cents, or 0.2%, to $15.366 an ounce.
“Gold’s chart still looks bullish, but is overdue for a correction within the context of a bull market,” said Michael Armbruster, principal and co-founder at Altavest.
Gold prices had finished last week at a 13-month high and posted a climb of more than 10% in February.
But U.S. stocks rose Wednesday as oil prices CLJ6, -0.18% rallied, drawing some investors away from gold.
Economists and investors are broadly looking for the ECB on Thursday to cut its deposit rate by at least 10 basis points and expand its asset-buying program in an effort to pump life into persistently below-target growth and inflation. Any decision that defies expectations could stir metals trading volatility.
“So far, this week, we have been in a ‘news vacuum’ of sorts that has left gold to bounce around as prices are largely being driven by trader positioning ahead of the ECB,” said Tyler Richey, co-editor of The 7:00’s Report.
He pointed out that the last big ECB meeting in December “spurred sharp, multi-percentage point moves in both the dollar and the euro,” which also “marked the beginning of this most recent upswing in gold.”
“So if the ECB underwhelms the market again like they did in December and the dollar spikes lower, then expect gold to extend its recent gains,” Richey said. “At the same time, if the ECB learned anything from December and has better managed market expectations, we could easily see a multi-percent correction in gold as futures still remain near-term overbought.”
On Wednesday, despite weakness in metals prices, shares of metals miners mostly followed the broader equities market higher.
As gold futures settled, Randgold Resources GOLD, 0.66% was up 1.5% and Barrick Gold ABX, 2.70% added 2.3%. Newmont Mining NEM, 0.97% tacked on 1.1%.
The gold-backed SPDR Gold Trust GLD, -0.83% meanwhile, fell by 0.6%. As for other metals, May copper HGK6, 0.29% added 1.1 cents, or 0.5%, to $2.233 a pound. April platinum PLJ6, -0.38% lost $6.60, or 0.7%, to $982.80 an ounce, while June palladium PAM6, -0.79% settled down by 70 cents at $566.15 an ounce.