U.S. bullion prices rose Tuesday as a weaker dollar supported gold but gains were limited to a modest 0.4 percent. Demand for silver was stronger as it advanced 1.2 percent, capping a third straight day of increases. In terms of streaks, palladium was the winner. The metal rose just 0.4 percent for the day but that was enough to cement a fifth session of consecutive gains.
In futures prices, April gold added $5.80 to $1,340.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The metal hit an intraday low of $1,326.00 an ounce and a high of $1,344.10 an ounce.
"There are a number of conflicting influences battling back and forth today. Gold is caught among them and failed to provide any kind of short-term leadership," Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader of Integrated Brokerage Services, was cited on Reuters.
"As of the first trading day of February, gold continued to exhibit some of the same nervousness that has characterized the sessions of the past week," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc. "Bullion is hardly responding to the on-going instability in Egypt, and — despite further slippage in the US dollar — is tilting towards lower levels as further US economic data releases remain less than conducive to piling on bullish bets for bullion at this juncture."
Silver prices for March delivery advanced 34.5 cents to $28.514 an ounce. It ranged from $27.850 to $28.635.
Platinum was the best performer in precious metals on Tuesday. Platinum prices for April delivery rose $32.10, or 1.8 percent, to $1,833.00 an ounce. Prices ranged from a low of $1,792.70 to a high of $1,834.60.
Palladium prices for March delivery climbed $3.45 to $823.55 an ounce. It ranged from $815.50 to $825.75.
In PM London bullion prices, gold was fixed to $1,331.50 an ounce, which was $4.50 higher than the previous PM fixing. The London Silver Fix was $28.32 an ounce for a gain of 57 cents. The platinum fixing rose $31.00 to $1,812.00 and the palladium fixing added $16.00 to $822.00.
American Eagle bullion coins were a no show last week, as the United States Mint website indicated there were no gains during the week. The US Mint delivers unaudited coin sales to CoinNews.net once a week and those were much rosier for bullion coins. January ended as the best ever month for bullion Silver Eagles with sales at 6.422 million. The US Mint also sold a total of 133,500 ounces of bullion Gold Eagles last month, easily topping the same period last year by 48,500 ounces.
Buyers also ordered nearly every sized bullion coin from the Mint on Tuesday, the first day of February, as the following table illustrates.
|U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|Daily Gain||2011 Totals|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||5,000||135,500|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||0||1,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||2,000||4,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||5,000||25,000|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||50,000||6,472,000|
On the numismatic front, the US Mint released the first commemoratives of the year. For more, read about the 2011 U.S. Army Commemorative Coins in gold, silver and clad.