Gold down at $1,196; WTI slides to $73.69 ahead of OPEC meeting

New York (Nov 26)  Gold prices edged down today in muted, pre-Thanksgiving trade, as U.S. equities traded near record highs, paring demand for the metal as an alternative asset.

December gold inched down less than 0.1 to settle at $1,196.60 an ounce, continuing to hold below the key $1,200 level.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index of equities rose to a record yesterday. U.S. stocks wavered today, as reports showed the number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits increased last week to the highest since early September and orders for U.S. business equipment unexpectedly fell in October.

In other metals, December silver settled unchanged at $16.55 an ounce. January platinum settled higher by 0.3 percent at $1,228.40 an ounce,.

December palladium finished up by nearly 0.8 percent at $801.60 an ounce. High-grade copper for December delivery settled unchanged at $2.96 a pound.

In energy trading, crude-oil futures extended their slide today, ending at a four-year low on expectations the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) won’t move to significantly cut oil production.

Brent for January settlement slid $0.58 to finish the session at $77.75 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures Europe exchange.

West Texas Intermediate for January delivery fell $0.40 to close at $73.69 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the lowest settlement since Sept. 21, 2010.

Saudi Oil Minister Ali Al-Naimi said tumbling crude prices will stabilize on their own. Naimi later said that Persian Gulf countries have reached a consensus on output and OPEC will take a “unified position,” without elaborating on what they agreed to do.

Source: ProactiveInvestors