Gold Prices Ease Lower, Silver Tops $20


Gold Prices Fall to 3-Week Low, Silver Plummets 3.2%U.S. gold prices edged $1.80 lower Wednesday, retreating from a record high set on the prior day when worries over Europe’s debt crisis lifted safe-haven buying. A riskier investing environment and mild profit-taking were among the cited factors in pressuring prices.

Other precious metals moved opposite of the yellow metal for a second day. Silver rose 0.5 percent to above $20 an ounce while platinum climbed 0.4 percent and palladium added 0.7 percent.

In other markets, crude oil prices rose for the first time in three days while U.S. stocks advanced slightly with the major indexes gaining between 0.44 and 0.91 percent.

New York precious metals closing prices follow:

  • Gold for December delivery slipped 0.1 percent to $1,257.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York. It ranged from $1,256.60 to $1,264.70 — near the intraday record of $1,266.50 set on June 21.

  • December silver advanced 9.5 cents to $20.009 an ounce. It ranged between $19.820 and $20.180 — the highest price since March 2008.

  • Platinum for October delivery ended up $5.90 to $1,562.20 an ounce. It ranged from $1,546.60 to $1,566.20.

  • Palladium for December delivery rose $3.90 to $527.10 an ounce. It ranged between $521.30 and $528.80.

In notable bullion quotes of the day:

"Gold is running into some resistance at the record highs," Frank McGhee, the head dealer at Integrated Brokerage Services LLC in Chicago, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "You can have a stock-market rally, but until the government can rev up some jobs into this recovery, they’re going to still have to keep their money in the market. Gold doesn’t have to rise. It just has to hold its value."

"Given the range of factors conspiring to push gold higher in September, we raise our one-month forecast to $1,300, from $1,230 previously," UBS precious metals strategist Edel Tully said in a report. "We also lift our three-month target to $1,300, from $1,200 previously."

"Tracking reports from China indicate that local gold production took a (rather unusual) step backwards in July, with a 2.6% fall in output from the record 31.897 tonnes the country dug up in June," noted Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc. "The annualized tally for the first seven months of 2010 shows Chinese gold output way ahead of 2009, with a larger than 10% gain, at 190.298 metric tonnes."

In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold price was fixed to $1,255.00 an ounce, falling $1.75 from the PM price on Tuesday. Silver advanced 37 cents to $20.020 an ounce. Platinum settled at $1,555.00 an ounce, declining $1.00. Palladium lost $6.00 to $523.00 an ounce.

In United States Mint bullion coin news, sales numbers for August were released. Demand fell for both American Silver Eagle and American Gold Eagle bullion coins fell. For reports on each, read:

Sales have also been relatively tame in the first week of September, with the latest available numbers following:

U.S. Mint American Bullion Coin Sales
September 2010 Totals**
American Eagle Gold 1 oz 12,500 817,500
American Eagle Gold 1/2 oz 1,000 35,000
American Eagle Gold 1/4 oz 0 48,000
American Eagle Gold 1/10 oz 5,000 330,000
American Buffalo Gold 1 oz 2,500 201,500
American Eagle Silver 1 oz 145,000 23,745,500


Oil and gasoline prices

New York crude oil for December delivery rose 58 cents, or 0.8 percent, to close at $74.67 a barrel.

"Equities and the dollar are kind of pushing things along," Carl Larry, president of Oil Outlooks & Opinions LLC in Houston, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "You’re starting to see a little more of the investment side in the market and the volumes are picking up after a slow August."

The national average for regular unleaded gasoline declined two-tenths of a cent to $2.680 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The price is two-tenths of a cent higher than a week ago, 9.4 cents lower than a month back, and 10.2 cents higher than the price from a year ago.

U.S. Stocks

U.S. stocks eased higher in low-volume trading on Wednesday.

"The bad news ball keeps being thrown between the U.S. and Europe," Ayako Sera, who helps oversee $310 billion as a strategist at Sumitomo Trust & Banking Co, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "The market is avoiding risk because there’s just no end to all this bad news we’re getting."

The Dow Jones industrial average advanced 46.32 points, or 0.45 percent, to 10,387.01. The S&P’s 500 Index rose 7.03 points, or 0.64 percent, to 1,098.87. The Nasdaq Composite Index finished up 19.98 points, or 0.90 percent, to 2,228.87.

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