Gold and Silver Prices Fall, Gold Bullion Coins Advance

by Bullion Prices Staff on December 15, 2010

Bullion prices declined Wednesday while the 1 oz American Gold Eagles were the single U.S. Mint bullion coin to rise for a second consecutive day.

Gold prices were pressured by a stronger dollar, weaker-than-expected US inflation data, and year-end book-squaring, according to analysts.

Gold futures prices for February delivery fell $18.10, or 1.3%, to settle at $1,386.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"The market was pressured by a stronger U.S. dollar index and by some profit taking and position-squaring as the holidays approach," noted Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News. " As the holidays approach, look for trader interest in the precious metals markets to wane, which is likely to mean some profit-taking and book-squaring that are likely to limit the upside for the next two weeks," added Wyckoff.

"As economic activity looks to improve, that’s going to strengthen the dollar and hurt gold," Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "The inflation numbers also took gold down a little bit. If you’re buying these commodities to hedge against inflation, today’s data didn’t show that you were right in doing so yet."

Gold hit an intraday low price of $1,378.20 and a high of $1,398.00. Gold prices are 26.5% higher in 2010.

In other New York prices, March silver ended down 53.5 cents, or 1.8%, to $29.25 an ounce; March palladium lost $15.55, or 2%, to finish at $752.65 an ounce; and January platinum declined $9.50, or 0.6%, to $1,704.40 an ounce.

As mentioned earlier, the 1 oz American Gold Eagle bullion coins advanced. Their numbers grew 7,500 on Wednesday. The eagles have enjoyed a solid week. They rose 13,000 on Tuesday and 13,500 on Monday. On the flip side, the American Silver Eagles have been quiet since shooting 730,000 higher on Monday.

In a recap from a story mentioned here yesterday but from a different source, read about the 75,000 ATB Silver Bullion Coins Sold on sister site CoinNews.net.

The following are the latest available bullion coin sales figures from the U.S. Mint:

December 2010 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
  December 2010 Daily Gain 2010 Totals
American Buffalo Gold Sold Out 209,000
America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins 75,000 0 75,000
1 oz American Gold Eagle 42,500 7,500 1,127,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 45,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 60,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 0 390,000
American Silver Eagle 1,422,000 0 34,312,500

Figures above are in coins, not ounces of gold sold.

In earlier bullion prices, the London PM gold fixing price was down $5.75, or 0.4%, to $1,388.75. Silver was fixed at $29.06 for a loss of 82 cents, or 2.7%. Palladium was fixed at $752 for a loss of $6, or 0.8%. Platinum was $1,701, the same price as Tuesday.

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