Bullion Prices Mixed in February 2012: Gold Down but Silver, Palladium and Platinum Up

by Bullion Prices Staff on February 29, 2012

Bullion prices plunged in New York Wednesday, yet all but gold managed healthy gains during the month of February. April gold futures prices plummeted $77.10, or 4.3%, to $1,711.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading between $1,704.50 an ounce and $1,792.30 an ounce. For February, gold prices declined $29.10, or 1.7%.

Losses for gold and other commodities Wednesday were attributed mostly to a speculation that another round of quantitative easing from the Fed was not coming. The speculative thinking was the result of testimony by Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke before Congress.

"There is no hint from Bernanke’s speech that there will be a QE3 type program which people have been hoping for," Reuters noted Jeffrey Sherman, commodities portfolio manager of DoubleLine Capital, a Los Angeles-based investment manager with $28 billion in assets. "It’s just a pullback, it doesn’t feel like it would be the start of a bear market," Sherman said.

May silver futures prices tumbled $2.56, or 6.9%, to $34.64 an ounce, which brought down its gain in February to $1.38, or 4.2%.

In PGM futures, June palladium prices fell $13.80, or 1.9%, to $708.40 an ounce while April platinum prices declined $30.90, or 1.8%, to $1,692.60 an ounce. For February, palladium added $22.05, or 3.2%, while platinum added $104.50, or 6.6%.

United States Mint Bullion Sales

It has been some time since sales of United States Mint bullion coins have advanced for three straight days. But then February has been a less than impressive month for bullion coin products overall as compared to January. Wednesday increases included 1,000 for the 1 oz. American Gold Eagle and 30,000 for the American Silver Eagle.

As is often the case on the last day of a month, the United States Mint did not indicate that sales were finalized for February. However, the figures shown below are unlikely to change. A more comprehensive analysis of the numbers will follow in the coming days.

Sales of United States Mint 2012 Bullion Coins
  Mon.. Tue. Wed. February 2012 Sales
1 oz American Gold Eagle 3,000 500 1,000 20,000 104,500
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 0 0 49,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 0 2,000 40,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 0 0 5,000 90,000
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 2,000 500 0 7,000 20,500
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver Coins 300 0 0 300 6,000
1 oz American Eagle Silver Coins 170,000 40,000 30,000 1,490,000 7,597,000


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 Coins on Monday, February 27, 2012. All other bullion sales have an "as of date" of Wednesday, February 29, 2012, as published on the Mint website.

London Bullion Prices

London bullion prices split on the day. From the Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM London Fix:

  • Gold declined $11, or 0.6%, to $1,770 an ounce,
  • Silver stepped up $1.63, or 4.6%, to $37.23 an ounce,
  • Palladium rose $10, or 1.4%, to $722 an ounce, and
  • Platinum added $14, or 0.8%, to $1,726 an ounce

London bullion prices showed robust gains in February. Advances for the month include:

  • $26, or 1.5%, for gold,
  • $3.63, or 10.8%, for silver,
  • $30, or 4.3%, for palladium, and
  • $102, or 6.3%, for platinum

Refer to this site’s home page for always updated bullion prices and news.

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