U.S. gold prices dipped 70 cents from its prior day record as the dollar strengthened Thursday and profit-taking emerged. However, the metal continues to glow. Gold reached 11 record highs for the month as it rallied 4.7 percent in September and surged 5.1 percent in the third quarter.
Although also dipping Thursday and from a 30-year high, silver was even hotter. It soared 12.3 percent for the month and 16.6 percent for the quarter.
In other markets, crude oil jumped 2.7 percent for the day and registered its best month since May 2009 while U.S. stocks retreated for a second straight day but rallied in September with the major indexes gaining between 7 and 13 percent. The Dow and S&P, in fact, recorded their best September since 1939.
New York precious metals closing prices follow:
Gold for December delivery slipped 70 cents, or 0.1 percent, to close at $1,309.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York. It ranged from $1,297.00 to $1,317.50.
December silver lost 13.1 cents, or 0.6 percent, to $21.821 an ounce. It ranged between $21.565 and $22.125.
Platinum for January delivery rose $2.00, or 0.1 percent, to close at $1,658.60 an ounce. It ranged from $1,637.70 to $1,668.50. Platinum climbed 8.9 percent in September — the most since November, and 7.9 percent in the third quarter.
Palladium for December delivery advanced $3.95, or 0.7 percent, to $571.25 an ounce. It ranged between $554.00 and $582.65. It performed better than all other precious metals. Palladium soared 13.8 percent for the month and 28.5 percent in the third quarter.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"It just remains a dollar story," Matt Zeman, a strategist at LaSalle Futures in Chicago, said and was cited on MarketWatch. "We’re down a few bucks, but it’s not a huge deal. Every dip continues to be met with buying. That’s a sign of strength in this market." Zeman added that "to see a bit of a bounce is not a surprise, it’s to be expected."
"Investors are clearly shifting their focus to precious metals of a hybrid character," Commerzbank AG said in a report. "These firstly have the status of a safe haven, but also show some correlation with the economic cycle. Silver, platinum and also palladium should therefore remain well supported."
"Bullishness levels close to the mid-90%’s are saturating both the gold and the silver markets at the moment," noted Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc. "On a technical basis, Commerzbank sees $1,350 within  weeks (well, why not three days, since we touched $1,317 earlier this morning?) while EW analysts note that although the $1,370-$1,385 zone remains a viable target for this wave, the succumbing-to-the-trend by Mr. Retail Trader is (as is also the case for ‘poor man’s gold’) a sign of ‘the terminal stage of the rally.’"
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold Fix price was $1,307.00 an ounce for a loss of 50 cents from Wednesday. Silver was $22.070 an ounce, adding 20 cents. Platinum advanced $15.00 to settle at $1,662.00 an ounce. Palladium was $573.00 an ounce, gaining $9.00.
Two of five United States Mint bullion coins showed gains Thursday. One-ounce Gold Eagles climbed 4,500 and the quarter-ounce Gold Eagles added 2,000. September is not officially closed out, but the following figures from the U.S. Mint are likely final for the month:
|U.S. Mint 2010 Bullion Coin Sales|
|American Eagle Gold 1 oz||82,500||887,500|
|American Eagle Gold 1/2 oz||1,000||35,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/4 oz||6,000||54,000|
|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 rose Thursday, "receiving boosts from a drop in U.S. jobless claims, a slightly upward revision to second-quarter growth, and news that manufacturing in the Chicago area rose," wrote Claudia Assis and Nick Godt of MarketWatch.
Crude for November delivery jumped $2.11 to $79.97 a barrel. Prices advanced 11.2 percent in September and were 5.7 percent higher in the third quarter.
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline fell three-tenths of a cent to $2.689 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The price is 2.6 cents less than last week, 1.2 cents more than a month back, and 21.0 cents higher than the price from a year ago.
U.S. stocks slid modestly for a second straight day on Thursday, with end-of-month profit-taking among the cited factors.
"With U.S. equities up a lot this month and this quarter, there’s some quarter-end balancing," Giri Cherukuri, money manager and head trader at Oakbrook Investments in Lisle, Illinois, which manages $2.2 billion, said and was cited on Bloomberg. "People had a lot of gains on the books, so it’s a little bit of profit-taking at month-end."
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 47.23 points, or 0.44 percent, to 10,788.05. The S&P 500 Index fell 3.53 points, or 0.31 percent, to 1,141.20. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 7.94 points, or 0.33 percent, to 2,368.62.
For the month of September, the Dow rallied 7.7 percent, the S&P jumped 8.7 percent, and the Nasdaq surged 12.0 percent.