Gold Prices Edge Lower, Silver Continues Decline


Fine Gold Bars

U.S. precious metals were mixed on Wednesday as all but palladium retreated. Gold fell the least while silver dropped the most. Their losses, however, were mild compared to their previous day’s plunge.

Gold prices for February delivery ended down $5.10, or 0.4 percent, to $1,373.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices ranged from a high of $1,385.20 to a low of $1,364.00 — the lowest level since December 16. Reports of better-than-expected jobs data were gracious to the U.S. dollar and the economic outlook but detrimental to bullion, opined analysts.

"People are feeling warm and fuzzy on the outlook for the economy," Matthew Zeman, a metal trader at LaSalle Futures Group in Chicago, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "All the bullish data is weighing on gold and the metals, and boosting the dollar. You’re seeing outflows in risk-aversion assets like gold into higher-risk assets like equities."

In other percent breakouts, silver fell 1.1%, platinum lost 0.8% and palladium gained 0.8%.

March silver prices fell 31.0 cents to settle at $29.198 an ounce. They ranged from $28.580 to $29.905.

Platinum prices for April delivery declined $13.30 to $1,734.10 an ounce. Platinum ranged between $1,710.60 and $1,761.50.

Palladium prices for March delivery advanced $6.25 to $775.30 an ounce. Palladium ranged from $750.20 to $779.40.

In PM London bullion prices, the benchmark gold fixing was $1,368.00 an ounce for a loss of $20.50 from the previous PM fix. Silver plunged $1.460 to $29.210. Platinum was $1,722.00 an ounce, down $31.00. Palladium was $754.00, down $30.00.

United States Mint bullion coin sales ticked higher Wednesday after remaining unchanged during the previous day. The one-ounce sizes improved, with the bullion Gold Eagles up 5,000 and the bullion Silver Eagles up 389,000. The following are the latest U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures:

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales*
Daily Gain January Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 5,000 13,500
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 0 0
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 0 0
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 0 5,000
American Buffalo Coin (1 oz) Not Yet Offered
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 389,000 2,085,000


*The U.S. Mint one-ounce bullion gold and silver 2011 American Eagles launched on January 3. However, the Mint has remaining inventory of the 2010-dated eagles still in vaults. As a result, figures above are 2011 sales and not year-dated coins sold.

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