U.S. precious metals prices advanced for a second straight day, with gold nearing an eight-week high and silver soaring above $19 an ounce. Silver tracked gold which benefited over continuing concerns that the economic recovery was slowing.
"Comex gold futures closed higher and hit a fresh nearly two-month high Wednesday, on follow-through safe-haven buying interest and on the building technical strength in the market," noted Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News.
"Another weak U.S. housing report Wednesday — new home sales were down a larger-than-expected 12.4% in July — prompted more safe-haven buying interest in the precious yellow metal… Wednesday’s weak economic data followed a dour U.S. existing home sales report on Tuesday that reminded traders the U.S. and world economies are still on shaky ground, and prompted a fresh influx of safe-haven buying interest in the gold market."
In New York bullion prices, gold futures for December delivery was $1,241.30 an ounce, rising $7.90 or 0.6%. Gold ranged from a low of $1,230.90 an ounce to a high of $1,243.40 an ounce.
In other metals, silver for September delivery rallied 64.8 cents or 3.5% to $19.026 an ounce. October platinum gained $9.70 or 0.6% to $1,527.40 an ounce. Palladium for September delivery advanced $7.30 or 1.5% to $491.55 an ounce.
In London bullion PM prices, gold was fixed to $1,237.50 an ounce, climbing $15.50 or 1.3%. The London silver Fix was $18.630 an ounce, gaining 75 cents or 4.2%. Platinum was $1,516.00 an ounce, adding $22.00 or 1.5%. And palladium ended up $14.50 or 3.0% to $490.50 an ounce.
"The fear is palpable," Leonard Kaplan, the president of Prospector Asset Management in Evanston, Illinois, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "The economy is really faltering. People are worried about the stock market. Money has to go somewhere and it’s going to gold."
Second quarter 2010 gold demand surged 36%, the World Gold Council said on Wednesday. Moreover, the WGC expects that demand "will remain robust during 2010 as a result of accelerating demand from India and China, as well as increasing global investment demand driven by continuing uncertainty over public debt and economic recovery."
American Silver Eagles were the only United States Mint bullion coins to show an increase between Tuesday and Wednesday. The silver coins advanced a solid 150,000.
The following table shows U.S. Mint published sales figures as of Wednesday, August 25, 2010:
August 2010 Bullion Coin Sales
|American Buffalo Gold||23,000||15,000||198,500|
|American Eagle Gold 1 oz||147,500||37,500||803,500|
|American Eagle Gold 1/2 oz||2,000||1,000||34,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/4 oz||2,000||0||46,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/10 oz||30,000||15,000||325,000|
|American Eagle Silver||2,981,000||1,806,000||22,955,500|
Figures above are in coins, not ounces of gold sold.