U.S. gold prices on Wednesday marked their 10th record high in the last 12 trading days, stopping just above $1,310 an ounce as the U.S. dollar fell to a five-month low against the euro.
Expectations for another round of monetary easing by the Fed and economic worries driving safe-haven buying continued to be cited themes for gold’s gains.
Other precious metals shined as well. Silver rallied to briefly top $22 an ounce, registering a high point not seen since March 2008. It rose 1.1 percent. Platinum advanced 1.0 percent and palladium rallied 1.2 percent.
In other markets, crude oil prices climbed to a seven-week high while U.S. stocks edged lower with the major indexes retreating between 0.12 and 0.27 percent.
New York precious metals closing prices follow:
Gold for December delivery rose $2.00, or 0.2 percent, to finish at $1,310.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York. It ranged from $1,306.10 to $1,314.80.
December silver advanced 24.5 cents to $21.952 an ounce. It ranged between $21.710 and $22.075.
Platinum for January delivery added $15.90 to close at $1,656.60 an ounce. It ranged from $1,639.90 to $1,658.00.
Palladium for December delivery ended up $6.85 to $567.30 an ounce. It ranged between $563.15 and $572.75.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"Essentially, it feels like we need to consolidate a bit. However, there are a lot of people thinking that, but very few are willing to short the market," Credit Suisse analyst Tom Kendall, said and quoted on Reuters. "It’s quite possible that if there are any further upsets in either the currency markets or the rates markets … we could get another leg higher and then we’d be looking at the next upside target at $1,330."
"Disappointing economic data are fueling speculation the Fed will add to monetary easing, boosting gold demand," Chris Yoo, head of global derivatives at Samsung Futures Inc. in Seoul, said and was cited on Bloomberg. Exchange-traded fund "holdings are increasing and gold may reach $1,500 by the end of the year," he added.
"Most of what we have witnessed in the complex during the month has been clearly based on perceptions of an inevitable (and now presumably imminent) second chapter of Fed accommodation," noted Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc.
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold Fix price was $1,307.50 an ounce for an increase of $13.50 over Tuesday. Silver was $21.870 an ounce, up 71 cents. Platinum added $33.00 to settled at $1,647.00 an ounce. Palladium was $564.00 an ounce, gaining $12.00.
In a rare occurrence that reflects stronger demand, all but one U.S. Mint bullion coin registered increased daily sales. Silver Eagles, as typical, jumped the most with an increase of 200,000. One-ounce Gold Eagles rose 5,000 while the fractional quarter-ounce and tenth-ounce sizes added 2,000 and 10,000, respectively. The half-ounce size remained unchanged. The latest bullion coin figures as published by the United States Mint follow:
|U.S. Mint 2010 Bullion Coin Sales|
|American Eagle Gold 1 oz||78,000||883,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/2 oz||1,000||35,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/4 oz||4,000||52,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/10 oz||30,000||355,000|
|American Buffalo Gold 1 oz||Sold Out||209,000|
|American Eagle Silver 1 oz||1,880,000||25,480,500|
Oil and gasoline prices
New York crude oil prices on Wednesday jumped $1.68, or 2.2 percent, to settle at $77.86 a barrel. Prices were lifted, opined analysts, as the Energy Information Administration reported that crude inventories declined last week (expectations were for an increase).
"The headline numbers were a bit supportive and turned the market around," Kyle Cooper, director of research for IAF Advisors in Houston, said and was cited on Bloomberg. "When you look at the overall inventory numbers, they’re still pretty robust across the board. It’s going to take something more significant to break us out of the current trading range."
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline rose one-tenth of a cent to $2.692 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The price is 2.8 cents less than last week, 1.4 cents more than a month back, and 20.5 cents higher than the price from a year ago.
U.S. stocks slid slightly on Wednesday, with global economic worries one of the cited factors.
"The biggest single danger remains Europe," Mark Grant, managing director at Southwest Securities Inc. in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, said in a note to institutional clients that was recounted on Bloomberg. "The question remains just how much of the austerity measures people will actually take before either political or social unrest demands a change in policies or a refusal to bend to the EU dictates."
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 22.86 points, or 0.21 percent, to 10,835.28. The S&P’s 500 Index fell 2.97 points, or 0.26 percent, to 1,144.73. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 3.03 points, or 0.13 percent, to 2,376.56.