Gold and Silver Ease Lower, Palladium and Platinum Prices Rise


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U.S. gold and silver prices fell modestly while platinum and palladium prices rose slightly in thin trading Wednesday.

Volume has consistently been lower in the last several days as investors have been more attuned to the Christmas holiday than in buying precious metals. Thursday action is expected to be more muted.

A stronger dollar pressured gold prices on Wednesday, but news that the IMF completed the sale of 403 metric tons of gold was supportive, opined analysts.

"Despite the gold sales being off market — directly from the IMF to creditor nation central banks diversifying monetary reserves – the potential overhang of IMF gold supply and perceived risk was one of the few bearish factors in the gold market," analysts at GoldCore said and were quoted on MarketWatch.

New York closing prices follow:

  • Gold prices for February delivery retreated $1.40, or 0.1 percent, to $1,387.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices ranged from $1,385.60 to $1,391.70.
  • March silver prices lost nine-tenths of cent to $29.385 an ounce. They ranged from $29.230 to $29.485.
  • Platinum prices for January delivery climbed $9.00, or 0.5 percent, to $1,730.90 an ounce. Platinum ranged between $1,720.00 and $1,735.40.
  • Palladium prices for March delivery rose $2.10, or 0.3 percent, to close at $755.15 an ounce. Palladium ranged from $751.15 to $760.25.

In PM London bullion prices, the benchmark gold fixing was $1,387.00 an ounce for a daily gain of $4.00. Silver added 10.0 cents from the previous fixing to $29.350. Platinum was $1,728.00 an ounce, up $11.00. Palladium was $757.00 for an increase of $8.00.

As earlier reported on, American Palladium Eagles are expected to join the U.S. Mint family of American Eagle coins. President Obama signed the American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin Act of 2010 into law on December 14 which authorizes bullion and numismatic proof and uncirculated versions. Prior to any Palladium Eagle minting, a formal marketing study must be completed and presented to Congress which details their demand. The CBO projects the bullion versions will generate under $500,000 a year in excess of their production costs.

In U.S. Mint bullion coin sales on Wednesday, American Gold Eagles were the only gainers. The one-ounce advanced 4,500, the one-half ounce added 1,000, and the one-quarter once picked up 2,000. The two smaller sizes rose for the first time in December. Bullion coin sales figures follow:

U.S. Mint 2010 Bullion Coin Sales
December* 2010 Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 55,500 1,140,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 1,000 46,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 2,000 62,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 5,000 390,000
American Buffalo Coin (1 oz) Sold Out 209,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 1,772,000 34,662,500


December sales have an "as of date" of December 22.

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