A newly-strengthened dollar pressured precious metals lower overnight, as some profit taking occurs after the week's advances. Stocks in both the U.S. and Europe were lower, on a lower than expected earnings report from Apple and disappointing results from the latest Italian and Spanish bond auctions.
Even though the dollar is stronger, crude oil prices continue to rise. Oil hit yet another 4-month high in trading yesterday, and stories of extreme winter storms in both the U.S. and abroad may be fueling some of this strength in crude.
Gold prices may also be affected by the large increase in import tariffs by India on both refined gold and doré this week. Indian merchants bought heavily before the taxes went into effect, stocking up for future needs. Since India is the world's leading importer of gold, this led to a distortion in recent physical buying, front-loading volume in the early part of the month that would have normally been seen in late January.