U.S. gold prices closed to another record Wednesday, its second straight and 13th since mid-September. The yellow metal briefly topped $1,350 an ounce as the dollar slumped after ADP Employer Services reported a drop in private U.S. payroll numbers.
Silver extended its streak of gains, closing at another 30-year high and surpassing $23 an ounce. Platinum and palladium finished higher as well, marking respective daily gains of 0.7 and 2.0 percent.
U.S. stocks ended mixed, with the Dow up 0.21 percent, the Nasdaq down 0.8 percent and the S&P 500 lower by 0.07 percent.
New York precious metals closing prices follow:
Gold for December delivery added $7.40, or 0.6 percent, to close at $1,347.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. It ranged from $1,340.00 to $1,351.00.
December silver jumped 30.6 cents, or 1.3 percent, to $23.043 an ounce. It ranged between $22.760 and $23.090.
Platinum for January delivery advanced $11.30 to close at $1,712.00 an ounce. It ranged from $1,695.90 to $1,714.70.
Palladium for December delivery surged $11.45 to $589.65 an ounce. It ranged between $578.75 and $594.00.
In notable bullion quotes of the day:
"Gold and other precious metals still appear to be on an unstoppable high run," Commerzbank analysts told its clients. "The present momentum suggests that prices will continue rising in the near term."
"The magnitude of broad-based currency weakness has raised the fear of competitive devaluation by gold traders, who continue to see gold as the alternative currency," Tom Pawlicki, an analyst at MF Global Holdings Ltd. in Chicago, said and was cited on Bloomberg.
"While we will be among the first ones to perennially remind investors that gold does in fact have a clear-cut rationale for being present even in an ‘ordinary’ portfolio, there is also something to be said about trying to overload in an asset (any asset) for the sake of profits-before-safety," noted Jon Nadler, senior analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc. "You know how that formula worked out for dot-com and/or Florida condo ‘investors.’ "Diversify or die" may sound trite, but, does it ever ring true these days."
In PM London bullion, the benchmark gold Fix price was $1,346.50 an ounce for a gain of $16.00 from Tuesday. Silver was $22.920 an ounce, rising 68 cents. Platinum added $5.00 to settle at $1,694.00 an ounce. Palladium was $583.00 an ounce, gaining $14.00.
U.S. Mint bullion coin sales remained unchanged Wednesday. September monthly sales totals have been published. Analysis of those is available in the following two articles:
- September 2010 Silver Eagle Bullion Coin Sales Ease
- September 2010 Gold Eagle Bullion Coin Sales Rebound
The following are the current October sales figures from the United States Mint.
|U.S. Mint 2010 Bullion Coin Sales|
|American Eagle Gold 1 oz||11,000||898,500|
|American Eagle Gold 1/2 oz||0||36,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/4 oz||0||54,000|
|American Eagle Gold 1/10 oz||0||355,000|
|American Buffalo Gold 1 oz||Sold Out||209,000|
|American Eagle Silver 1 oz||515,000||25,995,500|
Oil and gasoline prices
New York crude oil prices were lifted by the falling dollar and smaller-than-expected gasoline inventories, opined analysts. Crude for November delivery added 65 cents, or 0.8 percent, to $83.45 a barrel.
"The market is trading on the falling dollar and expectations of quantitative easing," Bill O’Grady, chief market strategist at Confluence Investment Management in St. Louis, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "The inventory data today was mixed, a little bearish for oil and bullish for the products, but the focus is on other things at the moment."
The national average for regular unleaded gasoline jumped 1.9 cents to $2.751 a gallon, according to AAA fuel data. The price is 5.9 cents more than last week, 6.8 cents higher than a month back, and 29.0 cents above the price from a year ago.
U.S. stocks were mixed Wednesday. The possibility of weaker-than-expected jobs data from the government on Friday was noted for pulling sentiment lower. ADP Employer Services reported earlier in the day an unexpected drop of 39,000 in private payrolls.
“The market remains focused on economic news, and most of the concerns are over the employment picture. So anything like today’s payroll numbers reminds investors that the economy is still far from perfect, which leads to some weakness,” Matt King, chief investment officer at Bell Investment Advisors, said and was quoted on CNNMoney.com.
The Dow Jones industrial rose 22.93 points to 10,967.65. The S&P 500 Index retreated 0.78 points to 1,159.97. The Nasdaq Composite Index declined 19.17 points to 2,380.66.