Precious metals stalled in March as rising Treasury yields muted their appeal as an alternative investment to equities. Gold dipped 0.7% to finish the month around $1,715 and had its worst quarter since 2016, falling over 14% since December 31. Silver fell 7.1% to finish near $24.50 and fell 6.9% in Q1. PGMs once again outperformed gold and silver with platinum and palladium rising 0.6% and 13.7% respectively in March.
Rising Treasury yields dominated market news in March, and gold and silver were hit hard by the rise. The 10-year T yield peaked at 1.77% on Tuesday, March 30, its highest level in 14 months. The same day, gold dipped to $1,680, its lowest price since June. Yields seems to have stabilized heading into April which bodes well for gold and silver in the coming months. Gold jumped 2% in the last day of March as yields declined to finish back above the $1,700 threshold.
Equities performed well in March, however, there was a shift from growth stocks to value stocks which was seen in an underperforming Nasdaq and a surging Dow. For the month, the Dow gained 6.6% and rose 7.8% for the quarter. The S&P closed the month up 4.3% and Q1 up 5.8%. The Nasdaq suffered most as rising yields enticed investors away from growth stocks. But still, in March, the Nasdaq eked out a win, rising 0.4% and gained 2.8% in Q1.
Many saw this dip in gold and silver as an excellent buying opportunity which only exacerbated ongoing supply issues as State Mints and Comex/LBMA refiners cannot keep up with the demand for physical metals. If prices continue downward and subsequently demand rises, premiums and shortages are likely to continue into the coming months.