Silver Prices Soar 2.7%, New Bullion Coins Available

by Bullion Prices Staff on February 28, 2011

U.S. bullion prices advanced Monday. Silver was the best performing precious metal, rallying 2.7% and nearing $14 an ounce. Gold was the weakest, gaining a modest 60 cents.

The underlying picture for gains remained unchanged. Middle East tensions were foremost, followed by a weakened U.S. dollar.

Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News opined:

"While the civil unrest in the Middle East has not see any new, dramatic developments in recent days, the situation is still inviting safe-haven investment demand into the precious metals markets … There are now technical clues crude oil prices last week put in a near-term market top. If so, that would be at least slightly near-term bearish for the precious metals. Still, precious metals traders are keeping one eye on the crude oil market as a gauge of tensions in the Middle East.

The U.S. dollar index traded lower again Monday and hit a fresh four-month low. The technical posture of the index is very weak at present. The greenback has also not seen safe-haven buying interest it had enjoyed during past geopolitical unrest. If the U.S. dollar index continues to trade sideways to lower, which is what the technical picture is suggesting at present, then that would be gold-market-bullish."

April gold futures prices closed to $1,409.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Its intraday low was $1,407.90 an ounce while its high was $1,417 an ounce. Gold has fallen 0.8% in 2011.

May silver prices closed up 89.7 cents to $33.82 an ounce. Its intraday peak of $33.98 was still below the $34.315 an ounce mark set on Feb. 22. That was silver’s best price since 1980. After spending much of the year in the red, silver has soared in the last two weeks for a year-to-date increase of 9.3%.

In PGM futures prices, June palladium rose $12, or 1.5%, to $799.60 an ounce while April platinum added $5.80, or 0.3%, to $1,809.20 an ounce.

U.S. Mint Silver Eagle bullion coins rose sharply following a modest gain on Friday. The coins climbed 575,000 against the previous 1,500. The February sales total stands at 3,240,000. The Mint has not yet officially closed out the month, but given the figures were updated Monday it seems likely they will not rise. As mentioned previously, the Silver Eagle level is the best ever for a February.

1-ounce Gold Eagle bullion coins added 5,000 versus 4,000. In the notable column, they have now topped 200k for the year.

In related bullion coin news of the day, two sister sites report on recently issued bullion offerings from The Perth Mint of Australia and the Royal Canadian Mint. They include:

Daily, February and 2011 bullion coin sales figures follow:

2011 U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
1 oz American Gold Eagle 72,500 5,000 203,000
1/2 oz American Gold Eagle 12,000 0 13,000
1/4 oz American Gold Eagle 16,000 0 18,000
1/10 oz American Gold Eagle 100,000 0 120,000
American Silver Eagle 3,240,000 575,000 9,662,000

Figures above are in coins, not ounces sold.

Bullion prices in London also ended higher. The PM gold fix was $1,411 an ounce, which was better than the prior PM fixing by $8.50, or 0.6%. The London silver fixing of $33.49 an ounce marked an increase of 95 cents, or 2.9%.

In PGM London metals prices, palladium gained $5, or 0.6%, to $790 an ounce while platinum rose $13, or 0.7%, to $1,804 an ounce.

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