Gold and silver kicked off the New Year with solid jumps Thursday after sharp 2013 declines in which both metals logged their biggest annual loss in more than three decades.
Gold for February delivery settled up $22.90, or 1.9%, to $1,225.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices ranged from $1,202.50 to $1,228. Gains were attributed to signs of stronger demand in Asia.
"We do see physical demand from Asia continuing to emerge, and India partly easing restriction will also increase demand," Steve Scacalossi, a New York-based vice president at TD Securities Inc., said in a report according to Bloomberg News. "The market is looking to buy dips now."
The Chinese Lunar New Year begins at the end of January, with demand for gold typically increasing around the holiday. The yellow metal needs support. Gold slumped 28.3% last year.
Silver in 2013 was the worst performer in precious metals, tumbling 35.9%. It was the best gainer on Thursday with silver for March delivery soaring 76 cents, or 3.9%, to $20.13 an ounce. The precious metal traded between $19.43 and $20.44.
PGMs advanced for a second straight session. In their daily breakdowns:
April platinum gained $30.80, or 2.2%, to $1,404.60 an ounce, ranging from $1,370.60 to $1,409.60.
- Palladium for March delivery turned up $11.95, or 1.7%, to $730.25 an ounce, trading between $717.20 and $733.
The two metals split last year with platinum off 10.9% and palladium up 2.1%.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fixings ranged from about flat to higher. In contrasting the London fix prices from Tuesday AM to Thursday PM:
- Gold added $23.50, or 2%, to $1,225 an ounce,
- Silver dipped a penny to $19.49 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $30, or 2.2%, to $1,388 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $12, or 1.7%, to $723 an ounce
Last year in London precious metals, palladium advanced 1.7%. Others fell with declines of 34.9% for silver, 27.8% for gold and 10.8% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Sales in December
Today, the United States Mint began selling its 2014 American Eagle gold coins and 2014 American Buffalo gold coins. The bureau is yet to release their opening 2014 sales, which are expected to be strong. Here is a snapshot of how U.S. Mint bullion coins performed in December and in 2013.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Last Week||December Sales||Annual Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||17,000||53,500||743,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||58,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||4,000||122,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||15,000||535,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||7,000||239,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||4,300||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||30,000|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||30,000|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||30,000|
|Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||35,000|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||1,200,000||42,675,000|