Precious Metals Prices Fall, US Bullion Gold and Silver Eagles Rise

by Bullion Prices Staff on November 16, 2010

Bullion prices plunged Tuesday while bullion American Eagle coins continued to rise. Gold fell to its lowest level in nearly two weeks. A variety of factors were cited for the decline, among them included: a rebounding U.S. dollar, higher margin requirements by Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME), and fear that China will raise rates which could slow its growth and demand.

CME Group raised margin requirement for gold, silver, platinum and palladium futures. Margin increases for silver last week drove precious metals prices down then — not just for silver, as players perceived the possibility of CME’s latest actions which were announced late Monday.

In New York futures prices, December gold closed at $1,338.40 an ounce, falling $30.10, or 2.2%. It’s lowest price for the day was $1,329.00 an ounce, a level not seen since November 3, 2010. Gold prices reached a high of $1,364.30 an ounce.

"Commodities generally are on the back foot at the moment … everything feels a bit on hold. We’ve had a pretty volatile period over the last couple of weeks and things seem to have blown themselves out for the time being," Scotia Moccatta head of precious metals Simon Weeks, was cited on Reuters. "Gold is wrapped up in the commodities story, which is often the case in the short term and then it often recovers as a currency afterwards."

Silver futures prices for December delivery ended down 85.9 cents, or 3.3%, to $25.233 an ounce. While silver prices are up 50% this year, they have dropped significantly from their last 30-year high of $29.34 reached on November 9 — that was right before the prior CME margin increase.

In other metals prices, January platinum lost $40.10, or 2.4% to $1,645.70 an ounce and December palladium fell $35.40, or 5.2%, to $645.90 an ounce.

The London bullion Fix price for gold was $1,349.00 an ounce, registering a decline of $19.50, or 1.4%. Silver was set lower by 53 cents, or 2%, to $25.48 an ounce. In platinum group metals, palladium was $661 an ounce for a loss of $14, or 2.1%, and platinum was fixed to $1,658 an ounce, marking a retreat of $17, or 1%.

The one-ounce U.S. Mint bullion American Eagle coins moved ahead Tuesday, but at a slower pace than the previous day. Sales of the one-ounce 2010 American Gold Eagle bullion coin improved by 2,500 versus the prior day’s 9,500. 2010 American Silver Eagle bullion coins added 250,000 compared to 525,000. The bullion silver coins are making an impressive drive, adding to their annual record. If their recent pace is maintained, sales could top 40 million be year’s end. An impressive accomplishment when considering the 2009 record was 28.7 million.

One-half ounce American Gold Eagles also improved by 1,000 on Tuesday, bringing their November sales to 4,000.

November 2010 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
November 2010 Tuesday Gain 2010 Totals
American Buffalo Gold Sold Out 209,000
1 oz American Gold Eagle 49,000 2,500 1,026,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 4,000 1,000 43,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 2,000 0 58,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 0 385,000
American Silver Eagle 2,715,000 250,000 31,345,500


Figures above are in coins, not ounces of gold sold.

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