Gold Prices Tumble Below $1,600, Silver Under $29, US Bullion Sales Rally

by Bullion Prices Staff on December 14, 2011

Gold prices were driven below $1,600 an ounce Wednesday as the euro tumbled to its lowest point since January and the greenback, as a result, grew and pressured major metals. February gold prices declined $76.20, or 4.6%, to $1,586.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The mark was gold’s lowest closing price since mid-July. The yellow metal touched an intraday low of $1,565.70 an ounce and reached a high of $1,645.80 an ounce.

"There is turbulence across the commodity market because of the strength in dollar," Jochen Hitzfeld, an analyst at UniCredit SpA in Munich, said in a telephone interview that was cited on Bloomberg. "No further stimulus from the Fed is bearish for the market."

The FOMC statement released Tuesday showed no hints that further quantitative easing steps would be taken by the Fed. That news pressured metals in after-hours trading Tuesday and also into Wednesday, in addition to the previously mentioned spiking U.S. dollar.

In other New York futures, March silver prices declined $2.33, or 7.4%, to $28.94 an ounce, March palladium prices declined $44.55, or 6.7%, to $619.60 an ounce and January platinum prices declined $66.00, or 4.4%, to $1,426.30 an ounce.

United States Mint Bullion Sales

It has been a bullish week for United States Mint bullion coins. In fact, gold bullion has been in particular demand with the Mint’s 24 and 22-karat gold pieces moving higher in seven of the last eight business days. In the 22-karat arena, the 1 oz. American Gold Eagles stand at 41,500 for the month, just passing November sales (38,500) on Wednesday. For the 24-karat Buffalo, it moved past its prior month sales (8,500) on Tuesday. Its December sales are at 10,500.

In silver bullion, the Silver Eagle gained 50,000 Wednesday which also shoved it over last month’s sales of 1,384,000. December sales are currently at 1,406,000.

The latest United States bullion figures are provided below in the daily, December 2011 and YTD 2011 columns.

United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
  Monday Gain Tuesday Gain Wednesday Gain December 2011 2011 Totals
1 oz American Gold Eagles 4,000 12,500 9,000 41,500 886,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 65,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 82,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagles 0 0 0 0 370,000
1 oz American Gold Buffalo 500 500 1,500 10,500 164,000
5 oz America the Beautiful Silver not reported 394,300
1 oz American Silver Eagle 325,000 125,000 50,000 1,406,000 39,265,500

 

Notes. Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold. The United States Mint last updated 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin sales on Monday, December 12, 2011. All other figures have an "as of date" of Wednesday, December 14, 2011.

In other United States Mint news, the bureau on Wednesday reduced numismatic gold coin prices as a result of lower gold prices. Also, for a glimpse into recent bullion and numismatic coin performances, read this U.S. Mint weekly sales article.

London Bullion Prices

London bullion prices, like New York futures, were pounded lower. From Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM London fixings:

  • Gold prices declined $69.50, or 4.2%, to $1,603 an ounce,
  • Silver declined $1.42, or 4.5%, to $29.92 an ounce,
  • Palladium declined $44, or 6.7%, to $617 an ounce, and
  • Platinum declined $38, or 2.5%, to $1,454 an ounce

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