Bullion Prices Mixed in Third Quarter 2011

by Bullion Prices Staff on September 30, 2011

U.S. bullion prices were mixed on the final day in September and for the third quarter 2011, keeping the same pattern as each of the two previous quarters from this year. Gold was the single standout, rising 0.3% Friday and up 8% for the quarter. The quarterly advance was gold’s 12th straight, despite a heavy 11.4% September loss.

December gold futures prices ended September and the third quarter 2011 up $5 to $1,622.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, trading between $1,607.80 an ounce and $1,642.50 an ounce. Gold fell $17.50, or 1.1%, on the week. As has been the case for several weeks, continued volatility is expected going forward, writes Debbie Carlson of Kitco Metals Inc.

"Volatility is expected to remain in the precious metals markets next week as traders continue to watch the headlines out of Europe for direction.

After the big sell-off in nearly all markets in the past several days, gold prices have come off of their lows, but confidence that the market is ready to resume its solidly higher uptrend isn’t firm. Several market watchers said it will take days, maybe weeks for the volatility caused by the sharp price drop to even out.

Silver and platinum group metals could still suffer further losses, especially if investors focus on their industrial nature, rather than…"

Gold remains the only precious metal with a positive reading in 2011, having gained $200.90, or 14.1%.

In closing the third quarter, December silver declined 0.44 cents, or 1.4%, to $30.08 an ounce, trading between $29.66 an ounce and $31.34 an ounce. It faltered 2 cents on the week. Silver futures fell $11.69, or 28%, in September. Its quarterly drop was less severe, but still a hefty $4.75, or 13.6%. The precious metal leader for much of the year, silver’s recent losses put it in the red 85.4 cents, or 2.8%, in 2011.

PGM’s remain the worst performing precious metals in 2011, as platinum is down $254.60, or 14.3%, and palladium has dropped $188.95, or 23.5%. Their quarterly losses were a bit lower at 11.7% and 19.2%, respectively.

January platinum futures closed down Friday by $9.30, or 0.6%, to $1,523.60 an ounce. Prices have fallen 5.6% on the week. They declined 17.9% in September.

December palladium futures ended down $9.05, or 1.5%, to $614.55 an ounce. Prices have fallen 4.4% this week. They declined 22.3% in September.

United States Mint Bullion Coins

Demand has soared for 1 oz. bullion coins from the United States Mint since gold and silver prices have fallen sharply from levels seen around mid-September. American Silver Eagle bullion coins, in particular, are selling as fast as the Mint can produce them. As a highlight, just over 1.4 million had been sold for the month as of September 21. Flash forward to September 30 and buyers ordered nearly 4.5 million of them, making September the second best-selling month ever for the coins.

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

United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
  Friday
Gain
Weekly
Gain
September
2011
2011
Totals
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 500 5,500 13,000 132,500
1 oz American Gold Eagle 4,000 41,000 87,500 760,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 1,000 62,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 2,000 72,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 5,000 25,000 345,000
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver not reported 382,800
1 oz American Silver Eagle 460,000 2,160,000 4,460,500 33,411,500

 

Notes. Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold. The United States Mint last updated 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin sales on Monday, September 26, 2011. All other figures have an “as of date” of Friday, September 30, 2011.

For a recent review of numismatic and bullion coin sales, read the CoinCollectingNews.org article: Three Products Debut, Bullion Silver Eagles Pass 4 Million. In other United States Mint news this week, the Mint has release dates for the Glacier and Olympic 5 oz. silver coins.

London Bullion Prices

London bullion prices were mixed Friday. London PM fixing prices included the following changes:

  • Gold added $7, or 0.4%, to $1,620 an ounce
  • Silver added back 26 cents, or 0.9%, to $30.45 an ounce
  • Palladium declined $7, or 1.1%, to $614 an ounce
  • Platinum stepped back $19, or 1.2%, to $1,511 an ounce

Weekly losses included 8.5% for platinum, 7.4% for silver, 6.8% for palladium and 4.1% for gold.

All London precious metals, with the exception of gold, declined in the third quarter. Quarterly losses from high to low included 19.3% for palladium, 13% for silver and 12.3% for platinum. Gold added 7.6% for the quarter. London precious metals declined together in September. Monthly losses from high to low included 26.4% for silver, 21.6% for palladium, 18.1% for platinum and 10.7% for gold.

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