Precious Metals Mixed, Again, During Third Week of March

by Bullion Prices Staff on March 20, 2010

Precious Metals were mixed for a second straight week, but they ended Friday very close to their starting week prices. Mid-week gains were given up with big losses on Friday, as the dollar rallied when Greek debt problems once again moved to the forefront.

For New York metals weekly prices, gold for April delivery advanced $5.90, or 0.5%, to $1,107.60 an ounce. May silver finished down 2 cents, or 0.1% to $17.032. April platinum climbed 20 cents to $1,608.60 an ounce.

"Prices will be supported as long as economic uncertainties remain and currencies like the dollar and euro stay weak," Liu Yanli, an analyst at Minmetals Futures Co., said from Beijing and was reported on Bloomberg. "Gold is on a gradual uptrend."

For London bullion weekly price, gold was fixed to $1,105.50 an ounce, registering a decline of 75 cents, or 0.1%. Silver was unchanged at $17.31 an ounce. Platinum settled down $2.00, or 0.1%, to $1,617.00.

"The bold predictions made by some observers earlier this week that gold will undoubtedly challenge the $1140/$1145 mark by this week’s end have run into…dollar difficulties," wrote Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc. "Meanwhile, an unnamed senior official at the World Gold Council said yesterday (Thursday) that global gold demand is expected to rise in 2010 after a sizeable 11% fall last year."

Gold, considered a hedge during times of high inflation and economic uncertainty, tends to follow oil and move opposite to the U.S. dollar. (New York crude-oil for April delivery declined $1.52, or 1.8%, to close to $80.68 a barrel.)

In an interesting article, Waiting for silver’s big break, MarketWatch’s Myra P. Saefong writes how analysts are "upbeat" about the long-term potential for silver, but also how there is warning in the air for a volatile "short-term journey."

"The overall demand for silver is down compared to gold," said David Beahm, a vice president at precious metals retailer Blanchard & Co. "Since silver’s price is driven much more strongly by global industrial demand rather than investor demand, it has under performed as compared to gold."

Beahm said the best way to own the metal is coins and bars, and "specifically the silver American Eagles."

To follow are silver, gold and platinum performance charts, oil news, week-ending stocks, and precious metal article summaries.

London Fix March Weekly Bullion Prices

(March 12 -19)

 
Up
Down
Week % Change
Week $ Change
Friday Close
Silver
-
 -
0.0%
$0.00
$17.31
Gold
 
X
-0.1%
-$0.75
$1,105.50
Platinum
 
X
-0.1%
-$2.00
$1,617.00

 

(March 5 – 12)

 
Up
Down
Week % Change
Week $ Change
Friday Close
Silver
X
 
0.3%
$0.06
$17.31
Gold
 
X
-2.5%
-$28.75
$1,106.25
Platinum
X
 
2.6%
$41.00
$1,619.00

 

(February 26 – March 5)

 
Up
Down
Week % Change
Week $ Change
Friday Close
Silver
X
 
7.0%
$1.13
$17.25
Gold
X
 
2.4%
$26.75
$1,135.00
Platinum
X
 
2.9%
$45.00
$1,578.00

 

US Mint Gold and Silver Coin Weekly News

In related bullion, business and United States Mint news, interesting or quick-read articles from the week include:

  • Der Wiener Walzer Moves Counter-Clockwise – Jon Nadler, Kitco Metals Inc.
    Gold prices slipped a bit in overnight trading amid anemic Indian physical offtake and a further gain in the US dollar. The latter managed a climb back to very near the 80.50 mark on the trade-weighted index and pushed oil, base metals, and assorted other commodities a tad lower. The euro once again slid back towards the 1.35 value zone as no news of any resolution to the Greek problem was on tap for yet another day.

    Greece is still pedaling hard to obtain a clear promise of aid from the EU, but Germany continues to be holding out on the matter, and ‘confusion’ is being expressed by other members of the eurozone. It was suggested yesterday that Greece should perhaps try to get a lifeline from the IMF. Bond investors are still demanding that Greece pay three%age points more than Germany on its 10-year debt, and the country’s Prime Minister warned that Greece can’t "afford to hold out much longer at current market rates."

  • U.S. Inflation Rises at 2.1% Annual Rate
    The American cost of living climbed from a year ago due to higher energy bills, but those same energy costs fell in February to help keep consumer prices in check for the month, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

    The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which is the government’s most closely watched barometer for measuring inflation at the consumer level, was flat in February, breaking away from five straight months of 0.2% increases. The month marks the first time since March 2009 when consumer prices did not climb, indicating tame inflation and reinforcing the Fed’s recent statement saying that inflation would remain subdued for "some time." …

  • 2009 Gold Proof Buffalo Coins Near 50,000
    Action picked up for numismatic coins, according to the latest US Mint sales report. The prior report showed that only three products garnered week-over-week improvements. More than a dozen passed that barrier in the latest round of figures.

    On the notable front, 2009 Gold Proof Buffalo coins increased by 598 compared to the previous 384 and are nearing 50,000 in sales. In fact, as of Sunday their total was at 48,994 which very likely means the 50K ceiling was actually topped by Tuesday or Wednesday. The proof Buffalo was released late last year on October 29 …

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