All precious metals declined Wednesday, although gold dropped the least in percentage. February gold prices declined $31.40, or 2.0%, to $1,564.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold ranged between $1,557.60 an ounce and $1,595.00. an ounce. Losses on the day were attributed to a stronger U.S. dollar.
"When you get so many people who bought gold thinking it was a safe haven and now under water, that’s the reason why it can come off more, perhaps on dollar strength," Reuters quoted Rick Bensignor, chief market strategist of Merlin Securities. "The dollar becomes the safe place, not the gold market," said Bensignor.
Silver was easily the worst performing precious metal of the day with its percentage loss of 5.2%. March silver prices declined $1.51 to $27.23 an ounce. Silver prices traded as low as $27.06, which was the lowest point since September 26.
In PGM futures, March palladium prices lost $19.45, or 2.9%, to $647.15 an ounce while April platinum prices lost $45.50, or 3.2%, to $1,392.40 an ounce.
United States Mint Bullion Coins
Aside from the American Gold Buffalo, other United States Mint bullion coins have been quiet for several days. The Buffalo advanced 1,000 on Wednesday, bringing its sales for the month to 21,000. The bullion coins last climbed by 3,000 on Thursday, December 22, along with a 100,000 increase for the American Silver Eagle.
1 oz. American Gold Eagle bullion coins began the first half of December with roaring daily performances. Since jumping 18,000 on December 16, however, no sales have been reported by the Mint. Still, their December sales of 65,500 are higher than each of the monthly increases in November and October.
The latest United States bullion figures are provided below in the daily, weekly, December 2011 and YTD 2011 columns.
|United States Mint 2011 Bullion Coins|
|Wednesday Gain||December 2011||2011 Totals|
|1 oz American Gold Eagles||0||65,500||910,000|
|1/2 oz American Gold Eagles||0||0||65,000|
|1/4 oz American Gold Eagles||0||0||82,000|
|1/10 oz American Gold Eagles||0||0||370,000|
|1 oz American Gold Buffalo||1,000||21,000||174,500|
|5 oz America the Beautiful Silver||0||3,900||397,700|
|1 oz American Silver Eagle||0||2,009,000||39,868,500|
Notes. Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold. The United States Mint last updated sales of its 5 oz. America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coin on Monday, December 19, 2011. All other figures have an “as of date” of Wednesday, December 28, 2011.
In major United States Mint news this week, not necessary related to bullion, the following articles are of note:
- 2012 Bullion Coins Launch January 3 – CoinNews.net
- Prices Trimmed on Silver Coins – SilverCoinsToday.com
The first article discusses a memo the United States Mint sent out to it bullion product distributors on Wednesday. The Mint has indicated that it will begin accepting orders for 2012-dated American Gold Eagle (one ounce, half-ounce, quarter-ounce, and tenth-ounce) and 2012 American Silver Eagle bullion coins on Tuesday, January 3, 2012.
The second article discusses price reductions the United States Mint implemented on Tuesday for its collector uncirculated American Silver Eagle and four of its America the Beautiful Silver Uncirculated Coins.
London Bullion Prices
London bullion prices were mixed Wednesday after a several day layoff due to Christmas and Boxing Day. From the Friday AM to Wednesday PM London fixings:
- Gold declined $36.50, or 2.3%, to $1,571 an ounce,
- Silver prices added 43 cents, or 1.5%, to $29.65 an ounce,
- Palladium added $2, or 0.3%, to $655 an ounce, and
- Platinum declined $28, or 1.9%, to $1,408 an ounce
Refer to this site’s home page for always updated bullion prices and the latest bullion news.