Equity markets sank on Wednesday as concerns over the Greek economy weighed on investors. “We thought progress was being made and the steps were being taken to get this resolved. Now that might be off track,” said Alan Lancz. Also Trading was relatively heavy as investors digested a Treasury auction that received strong demand. Agribusiness shares were among the biggest losers on the day as seed giant Monsanto sunk more than 1.5% after its quarterly profit fell below expectations. Meanwhile, energy shares also trended lower as crude oil slid back 1.5% on a rise in domestic inventories last week.
The ETFdb 60 Index pulled back a day after hitting a fresh 2010 high, shedding 3.15 points, or 0.3%, to close at 1,060.23. Volume for index constituents hit its highest level of the week, crossing 700 million shares.
A big loser on the day was the United States Natural Gas Fund (UNG) which sunk 2.6% in today’s trading. This came after continued concerns regarding the supply of natural gas and the EIA’s new methodology for estimating natural gas production and consumption. The EIA revised its U.S. natural gas production outlook upward by 3.7% but only increased its demand forecast by 1.3%, sending prices sharply lower.
One of the big winners in Wednesday trading was the Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) which soared higher by 2.9%. The rise was largely attributed to gold breaking through the $1,150/oz. level, while the metal continues to soar higher when denominated in euros. “We’re seeing demand on the physical side from the long early fund buyers and also some strong demand coming out of India,” says Will Rhind, head of U.S. operations for ETF Securities. Meanwhile, the Bank of Japan kept rates steady at 0.1% and the Fed has called for low rates for the foreseeable future, limiting demand for other assets and calling into question the strength of the global recovery.
Disclosure: No positions at time of writing.