Gold Prices Retreat from Record, Silver Drops from 31-Year High

by Bullion Prices Staff on March 3, 2011

U.S. bullion prices fell Thursday — gold from its record all-time high and silver from its 31-year high. Both precious metals ended 1.5% lower on the day. Palladium and platinum declined as well. Their respective losses were 1% and 1.4%.

April gold futures prices closed down $21.30 to $1,416.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. It hit an intraday low of $1,412.20 an ounce and reached as high as $1,436.90 an ounce.

Reasons for the declines, opined analysts, included profit-taking after news that the European Central Banks could raise interest rates to slow inflation and the possibility that Libyan leader Moammar Gadhaffi could agree to peace talks mediated by Venezuela.

"There were reports Thursday of a peace plan in the works, brokered by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, for ending Libya’s civil unrest by ushering Moammar Gadhaffi out of office," wrote Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News. "Nothing has been confirmed, however. This helped to push crude oil prices lower Thursday, which in turn put downside price pressure on the precious metals."

"Obviously, you have the European talk about higher interest rates down the road and a stalling crude rally, which are weighing on the market now," Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader of Integrated Brokerage Services LLC, said and was quoted on Reuters. "You have everything that at least set us up for a day of profit taking."

May silver dropped 50.8 cents to finish at $34.33 an ounce. June palladium ended down $7.85 to $814.80 an ounce. April platinum fell $26.30 to $1,833 an ounce.

United States Mint bullion coin sales continue to be tame in their March start. No additions were published by the Mint Thursday. The Silver Eagle total has remained the same for three-straight days. The single bullion coin to show an improvement this month, the one-ounce Gold Eagle, advanced 6,000 on Wednesday. The latest bullion sales figures from the United States Mint follow.

Bullion coins have been selling at a slower pace in March, based on the available data from the United States Mint. Sales were silent Thursday. The bullion American Silver Eagles stand at zero for the month, with their last daily gain on Monday. The fractional American Gold Eagles have been quiet as well. The only increase has been for the 1 oz Gold Eagles which improved by 6,000 on Wednesday.

For another and more detailed perspective on recent bullion and numismatic US Mint coin sales, read Several Presidential and Commemorative Coins Debut.

Daily, March and 2011 bullion coin sales figures follow:

2011 U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
1 oz American Gold Eagle 6,000 0 209,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 13,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 18,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 0 0 120,000
American Silver Eagle 0 0 9,662,000

Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold.

Bullion prices declined in London on Thursday as well. Comparing the PM fix prices on Thursday from Wednesday, the Gold fixing lost $14, or 1%, to $1,421.50 an ounce. Silver fell 22 cents, or 0.6%, to $34.53 an ounce.

In PGM London prices, palladium retreated $4, or 0.5%, to $817 an ounce and platinum lost $5, or 0.3%, to $1,841 an ounce.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Intrinsic Value March 5, 2011 at 9:00 pm

If you want to hedge the depreciation of the dollar with precious commodities, I would go long gold rather than silver. Silver is at all time high against Gold. If you are long gold you would have the tailwind at your back rather than facing the headwind.

Silver Intrinsic Value Update

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