2010 Bullion Prices Soar, Gold Marks Tenth Annual Gain

by Bullion Prices Staff on December 31, 2010

U.S. bullion prices soared in 2010 as precious metals registered exceptional annual increases ranging from 21% to 97%. While gold was not the biggest mover during the year — palladium took that honor, it has the longest streak with its tenth straight annual gain.

Gold futures prices surged $325.20, or 29.7%, in 2010, ending at $1,421.40 an ounce for the February contract on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal gained 24% in 2009.

"Gold has done so well this year because government activity indicates record deficits, low interest rates and an obvious lack of fiscal discipline," Tom Winmill, who manages the Midas Fund in New York, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "The U.S. monetary policy will lead to a devaluation in the dollar, and all eyes are focused on the next default in the European community."

The metal rose during each month and quarter of 2010.

"As for next year, I’m thinking gold could trade firmly over the next quarter or two. And then have the potential to see some weakness in the second half of the year," Tom Pawlicki, precious metals analyst at MF Global in Chicago, said and was quoted on Reuters. "If short-term yields start rising because the economy gets better or because monetary policy gets normalized that may take away that negative yield argument for holding gold and add pressure later in the year," Pawlicki added.

Palladium was the biggest winner in 2010. The precious metal settled in 2009 at $408.85 an ounce. On Friday, palladium prices for March delivery closed at $803.50 an ounce, capping an annual gain of $394.65, or 96.5%.

Silver followed palladium closely. Silver prices rallied $14.09, or 83.7%, on the year with the March contract closing at $30.937 an ounce. Its intraday high on Friday was $30.975, which was the best price since March 1980.

Platinum brought up the real. Prices rose $307.20, or 20.9%, in 2010. April platinum settled at $1,778.20 an ounce.

In PM London bullion, gold was fixed at $1,410.25 an ounce for an annual gain of $306.25, or 27.7%. The following table lists how London gold prices have ended since 2000.

Year Price $Annual Gain % Annual Gain
2000 $272.65
2001 $276.50 $3.85 1.41%
2002 $342.75 $66.25 23.96%
2003 $417.25 $74.50 21.74%
2004 $435.60 $18.35 4.40%
2005 $513.00 $77.40 17.77%
2006 $635.70 $122.70 23.92%
2007 $836.50 $200.80 31.59%
2008 $865.00 $28.50 3.41%
2009 $1,104.00 $239.00 27.63%
2010 $1,410.25 $306.25 27.74%

 

The London silver Fix came in at $30.63 an ounce for an annual pick-up of $13.64, or 80.3%.

Year Price $Annual Gain % Annual Gain
2000 $4.58
2001 $4.52 $(0.06) -1.20%
2002 $4.67 $0.15 3.21%
2003 $5.97 $1.30 27.87%
2004 $6.77 $0.81 13.50%
2005 $8.83 $2.06 30.43%
2006 $12.90 $4.07 46.09%
2007 $14.76 $1.86 14.42%
2008 $10.79 $(3.97) -26.90%
2009 $16.99 $6.20 57.46%
2010 $30.63 $13.64 80.28%

 

London platinum was $1,731.00 an ounce for a gain in 2010 of $265.00, or 18.1%.

Year Price $Annual Gain % Annual Gain
2000 $611.00
2001 $477.00 $(134.00) -21.93%
2002 $598.00 $121.00 25.37%
2003 $814.00 $216.00 36.12%
2004 $859.50 $45.50 5.59%
2005 $964.00 $104.50 12.16%
2006 $1,117.00 $153.00 15.87%
2007 $1,529.00 $412.00 36.88%
2008 $899.00 $(630.00) -41.20%
2009 $1,466.00 $567.00 63.07%
2010 $1,731.00 $265.00 18.08%

 

The London palladium Fix came in at $791.00 an ounce for an annual gain of $389, or 19.8%.

Year Price $Annual Gain % Annual Gain
2000 $954.00
2001 $440.00 $(514.00) -53.88%
2002 $233.00 $(207.00) -47.05%
2003 $193.00 $(40.00) -17.17%
2004 $184.00 $(9.00) -4.66%
2005 $253.00 $69.00 37.50%
2006 $324.00 $71.00 28.06%
2007 $370.00 $46.00 14.20%
2008 $183.50 $(186.50) -50.41%
2009 $402.00 $218.50 119.07%
2010 $791.00 $389.00 96.77%

 

The U.S. Mint will release 2010 bullion coin sales numbers later next week. Several key events in U.S. bullion coin news for 2010 follow:

  • Bullion American Silver Eagle coins hit three separate records during 2010 — the best ever sales month (November), the best ever sales year, and the best ever mintage year.

  • The debuting America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin™ series made an appearance in December (learn about the new bullion coins program). The maximum 33,000 coins for each of the five 2010-dated designs were sold by the U.S. Mint to its Authorized Purchasers last week.

  • American Palladium Eagle coins were authorized when President Obama signed the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 into Public Law 111-303 in December. The new series probably will not get minted until 2012, however.

 

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