Gold, other Precious Metals Edge Lower – February 18, 2010

by Bullion Prices Staff on February 18, 2010

Gold, silver and platinum finished lower Thursday. Gold was hit early by news of the IMF plans to sell 191.3 tons of gold into the open market. The impact declined as the day grew older. Thinking began to emerge, according to reports, that other central banks would purchase the gold.

In New York precious metal futures prices, Gold for April delivery declined $1.40, or 0.1%, to $1,118.70 an ounce. The yellow metal ranged from $1,098.10 to $1,124.60. Silver for March delivery lost 3.8 cents, or 0.2%, to close at $16.060 an ounce. April platinum fell $17.50, or 1.1% to end at $1,519.60 an ounce.

In PM London bullion prices, the benchmark gold price was fixed earlier in the North American day to $1,118.00 an ounce, which was $1 lower than the price on Wednesday. Silver lost 38 cents to $15.830 an ounce. Platinum was settled at $1,524.00 an ounce, declining $18.00.

"While the IMF’s selling intentions are widely known, it is more the uncertainty about the timing that caused some of the volatility," Stefan Graber, a Singapore-based analyst with Credit Suisse Group AG, said on Bloomberg. "However, it is likely that central banks, especially in emerging markets, are interested in picking up some of this gold."

"If a country like China comes in, as speculated, and scoops up the balance [of the IMF sell], then gold is off to the races," Phillip Streible, senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock, said on MarketWatch.

Crude oil rallied to a five-week high. New York crude for March delivery ended up $1.73, or 2.2 percent, to $79.06 a barrel. Gold, considered a hedge during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty, tends to follow oil and move opposite to the U.S. dollar. A rising greenback makes dollar-denominated commodities, like bullion, more expensive for holders of other world currencies.

In inflation news, the Labor Department reported today that the producer prices surged 1.4% in January. For the latest news about bullion and numismatic coin demand, check out US Mint Gold Coin Interest Picks Up.

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