Bullion Prices Mixed in 2011, Gold Marks 11th Annual Gain

by Bullion Prices Staff on December 31, 2011

Bullion prices were a mixed bag in 2011, flirting with highs and just as quick falling from them. Gold turned out to be the precious metal of the year, rising 10.2% for its 11th straight annual increase. Silver, surprisingly, was the most disappointing with its fall of 9.8%. Little surprise can be shown for annual losses in platinum (-21%) and palladium (-18.3%) since each struggled for most of the year.

In closing 2011 on Friday, February gold prices tacked on $25.90, or 1.7%, to $1,566.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its increase was the first in seven sessions, which accounts for gold’s weekly loss of 2.4%. More telling, the several-day decline had yanked away 4.7% of gold’s value which helped solidify its quarterly fall of 3.4% and break a streak of 12 quarterly advances.

Gold could continue its Friday rally into next week, some traders and analysts feel.

"Precious metals prices could continue to see gains next week following a stout rally on the last trading day of 2011, but market watchers said the viability of any gains lasting beyond next week is doubtful," wrote Debbie Carlson of Kitco Metals. "In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 19 responded this week. Of those 19 participants, 14 see prices up, while four see prices down, and one is neutral on prices. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders, money managers and technical chart analysts."

Finishing the major metals action on Friday, March silver prices added 60 cents, or 2.2%, to $27.92 an ounce, March palladium prices added $32.40, or 5.2%, to $656.15 an ounce and April platinum prices added $38.10, or 2.8%, to $1,404.90 an ounce.

United States Mint Bullion Coins

The only published US bullion coin gains this week were for the American Gold Buffalo, although it is possible the United States Mint has some updating to do following the holiday. The 24-karat Gold Buffalo added 1,000 to 21,000 for December.

The latest United States bullion figures are provided below in the daily, weekly, December 2011 and YTD 2011 columns.

United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
  Friday Gain Prior Weekly Weekly Gain December 2011 2011 Totals
1 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 65,500 910,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 65,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 82,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 370,000
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 0 6,500 1,000 21,000 174,500
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver 0 1,000 0 3,900 397,700
1 oz American Silver Eagle 0 450,000 0 2,009,000 39,868,500

 

Notes: Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold. The United States Mint last updated sales of its 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin on Monday, December 19, 2011. All other figures have an “as of date” of Friday, December 30, 2011, as published on the Mint website.

In major United States Mint news this week, not necessarily related to bullion, the following articles are of note:

The first article relates the Mint’s announcement to begin accepting orders for its 2012-dated American Gold and Silver Eagle bullion coins on January 3. The second article offers a review of the Mint’s weekly sales for its numismatic products. The third article lists the five silver coins that had their prices reduced by the United States Mint on Tuesday.

London Bullion Prices — Friday, Weekly and Annual

London bullion prices also rallied Friday, like futures in New York. From the Thursday PM to Friday AM London fixings:

  • Gold added $43.50, or 2.8%, to $1,574.50 an ounce,
  • Silver added $2.02, or 7.7%, to $28.18 an ounce,
  • Palladium added $6, or 1%, to $636 an ounce, and
  • Platinum added $27, or 2%, to $1,381 an ounce

For the week, London bullion prices declined across the board. Losses included

  • $33, or 2.1%, for gold,
  • $1.04, or 3.6%, for silver,
  • $17, or 2.6%, for palladium, and
  • $55, or 3.8%, for platinum

For the year, London bullion prices were mixed.

  • Gold added $164.25 or 11.6%,
  • Silver declined $2.45, or 8%,
  • Palladium declined $155, or 19.6%, and
  • Platinum declined $350, or 20.2%

The following table lists how London gold prices have ended since 2000.

2000-2011 London Gold Prices and Annual Results
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%
2011 $1,574.50 $164.25 11.65%

 

The following table lists how London silver prices have ended since 2000.

2000-2011 Silver Prices and Annual Results
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%
2011 $28.18 -$2.45 -8.00%

 

The following table lists how London palladium prices have ended since 2000.

2000-2011 London Palladium Prices and Annual Results
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%
2011 $636.00 -$155.00 -19.60%

 

The following table lists how London platinum prices have ended since 2000.

2000-2011 London Platinum Prices and Annual Results
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%
2011 $1,381.00 -$350.00 -20.22%

 

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