Gold Prices Reach 5-Week High, Silver Prices Hit 31-Year High

by Bullion Prices Staff on February 17, 2011

Bullion prices moved higher Thursday. Gold, platinum and palladium climbed modestly. Gold rose 0.7% and notably reached a five-week high. Platinum and palladium both gained 0.5%. The headliner Thursday was silver. It rallied 3.1% to reach a 31-year high.

The main drivers for gold, opined analysts, were worries over US inflation and fresh tensions in the Middle East that elicited safe-haven buying

April gold futures prices settled up $10 to $1,385.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.  The closing price was the highest since Jan. 13. Gold hit an intraday low of $1,374.60 an ounce and hit a high of $1,385.00 an ounce.

"The CPI data showed there is a lot of inflation around now. Certainly, inflation and the concern about the Middle East in general are very supportive factors," Bruce Dunn, vice president at bullion dealer Auramet, was quoted on Reuters.

March silver rallied 94.1 cents to end at $31.57 an ounce. It reached a high of $31.79, the best price since March 1980.

In PGM futures prices, palladium edged up $4.50 to $843 an ounce and platinum climbed $9.70 to $1,844 an ounce.

U.S. Mint authorized buyers ordered more American Silver Eagle bullion coins for a second straight day. The .999 fine silver coins advanced another 42,000, bringing their year-to-date total to nearly 8.2 million. The 1-ounce American Gold Eagles rose 4,500 after not having showed an increase since Monday. Their year-to-date total is at 174,000.

Daily, February and 2011 U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:

2011 U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
1 oz American Gold Eagle 43,500 4,500 174,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 0 6,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 16,000 0 18,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 100,000 0 120,000
American Silver Eagle 1,772,500 42,000 8,194,500

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

In London bullion prices which were fixed earlier in the North American day, the PM gold fix was $1,379 an ounce. That was $7.75, or 0.6%, more than the prior PM fixing. Silver moved in the opposite direction. It was fixed at $30.61 an ounce, down 16 cents, or 0.5%. London PGM metals moved in different directions as well. Palladium was down $1, or 0.1%, to $839 an once. Platinum was fixed higher by $6, or 0.3%, to $1,834 an ounce.

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