Bullion Prices Mixed in First Quarter 2012

by Bullion Prices Staff on March 31, 2012

U.S. bullion prices marked solid gains on the final day of the first quarter 2012, but quarterly levels were mixed due to a modest loss of 0.3% for palladium. Precious metals futures to rise for the quarter included gold at 6.7%, silver at 16.4% and platinum at 17%.

None of the metals were buoyed in March. Bullion prices tumbled during the month with losses of 2.3% for gold, 6.2% for silver, 7.7% for palladium and 2.9% for platinum.

On Friday, June gold prices added $17, or 1%, to $1,671.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold advanced 0.6% this week. Gold prices could move higher next week, according to some analysts.

"If gold prices can hold near where they ended this week, the yellow metal may be able to rebound next week to start off the second quarter on a firmer foot, market participants said," writes Debbie Carlson of Kitco News.

"In the Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 22 responded this week. Of those 22 participants, 13 see prices up, while six see prices down, and three are neutral… Gold’s price performance lately has been lackluster. Physical demand is down in Asia, in part because of a strike by Indian jewelers over a higher import tax on the metal, which has weighed on prices. Also, investors in exchange-traded funds are also less enamored of the metal…."

Silver tracked gold as May silver prices added 49.2 cents, or 1.5%, to $32.48 an ounce. Silver rose 0.7% over last Friday.

PGM metals also closed higher on the final day of the first quarter. June palladium added $9.55, or 1.5%, to $654.10 an ounce while July platinum added $15.80, or 1.0%, to $1,644.10 an ounce. For the week, palladium declined 0.9% while platinum added 1%.

United States Mint Bullion Coin Sales

Finalized United States Mint bullion coin sales have not been published for March, although the figures are likely closed for the month. In weekly results, gold bullion sales grew with 22,000 ounces of gold coins sold against the previous weekly total of 16,500 ounces. Silver bullion sales dipped as American Silver Eagles added 405,000 this week against the prior 490,000.

The most recent bullion coin totals are offered in the daily, monthly and 2012 sales columns below.

United States Mint 2012 Bullion Coin Sales
  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Mar 2012 Sales
1 oz American Eagle Gold Coin 0 0 17,000 1,000 0 57,500 162,000
1/2 oz American Eagle Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 0 2,000 51,000
1/4 oz American Eagle Gold Coin 0 0 0 0 0 0 40,000
1/10 oz American Eagle Gold Coin 0 0 0 10,000 0 40,000 130,000
1 oz American Buffalo Gold Coin 0 0 3,000 0 0 26,000 46,500
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver Coins 400 0 0 0 0 1,800 7,800
1 oz American Silver Eagle 250,000 25,000 0 30,000 100,000 2,542,000 10,139,000

 

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, March 26, 2012. All other bullion sales have an "as of date" of Friday, March 30, 2012, as published on the Mint website.

London Bullion Prices

London bullion prices were mixed on Friday and for the week. The following grid offers London PM Fix daily prices through this week and gains over the most recent two-days.

London Fixings (PM)
  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Daily Gain
($/%)
Weekly Gain
($/%)
Silver Prices $32.23 $33.01 $32.43 $31.79 $32.43 $0.64
2.0%
$0.89
2.8%
Gold Prices $1,680.25 $1,692.00 $1,676.00 $1,657.50 $1,662.50 $5.00
0.3%
-$1.50
-0.1%
Platinum Prices $1,639.00 $1,662.00 $1,642.00 $1,641.00 $1,640.00 -$1.00
-0.1%
$23.00
1.4%
Palladium Prices $664.00 $667.00 $651.00 $653.00 $651.00 -$2.00
-0.3%
-$7.00
-1.1%

 

For March, London precious metals declined. Losses were 6.1% for gold, 12.9% for silver, 5.0% for platinum and 9.8% for palladium.

For first quarter 2012, London precious metals advanced across the board. Gains included 5.6% for gold, 15.1% for silver, 18.8% for platinum and 2.4% for palladium.

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

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