Precious Metals Prices Mixed, Bullion Gold Coins Gain

by Bullion Prices Staff on December 22, 2010

Bullion prices were mixed Wednesday, with gold and silver slightly lower while palladium and platinum edged higher. Nearly all U.S. Mint bullion gold coins showed a daily sales increase.

Gold futures prices for February delivery fell $1.40, or 0.1%, to settle at $1,387.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The lowest level for gold came in at $1,385.60 while the highest point reached $1,391.70. Gold prices are 27% higher in 2010.

"Comex gold futures ended slightly lower Wednesday in quiet, low-volume trading. The approaching Christmas holiday and a short trading week this week have investors and traders focusing less on the markets," wrote Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News.

"Buying interest in gold was limited Wednesday by a steady U.S. dollar index. The dollar saw some selling pressure arise on reports that China was considering buying a big chunk of Portugal’s sovereign debt. However, the greenback was supported on a stronger-than-expected existing home sales report."

New York silver ended down nearly one penny to close at $29.385 an ounce. Silver prices have risen 74% this year.

Other precious metals in New York traded higher Wednesday. Palladium advanced $2.10, or 0.3%, to $755.15 an ounce and platinum added $9, or 0.5%, to $1,730.90 an ounce. Palladium is 85% higher this year while platinum has gained 18%.

As earlier reported on, American Palladium Eagles are expected to join the U.S. Mint family of American Eagle coins. President Obama signed the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 into law on December 14 which authorizes bullion and numismatic proof and uncirculated coins. Prior to any Palladium Eagle minting, a formal marketing study must be completed and presented to Congress which details their demand. The CBO projects the bullion versions will generate under $500,000 a year in excess of their production costs.

Only bullion gold coins advanced Wednesday according to the latest round of United States Mint sales figures. The 1/2 oz and 1/4 oz bullion Gold Eagles entered the sales board for the first time in December.

December 2010 US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
  December 2010 Daily Gain 2010 Totals
American Buffalo Gold Sold Out 209,000
America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins 142,000 0 142,000
1 oz American Gold Eagle 55,500 4,500 1,140,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 1,000 1,000 46,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 2,000 2,000 62000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 5,000 0 390,000
American Silver Eagle 1,772,000 0 34,662,500

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

In earlier bullion prices, the London PM gold fixing price was $1,387 an ounce which was $4, or 0.3%, higher than the previous day. The silver fixing was $29.35 an ounce, marking a gain of 10 cents, or 0.3%. In PGM London prices, palladium rose $8, or 1.1%, to $757 and platinum climbed $11, or 0.6%, to $1,728.

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