Gold Dips Slightly, Silver Advances 1%


Fine Gold Bars

U.S. gold and platinum prices dipped modestly Monday while silver and palladium settled higher.

A stronger dollar and expectations for an eventual interest rate hike were among the catalysts cited in pressuring gold.

April gold prices edged lower 80 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $1,348.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices ranged from $1,344.10 to $1,354.50.

"Fed tightening expectations have been hurting gold, but we still feel the odds of a rate hike this year, or even the first half of 2012, are pretty low," Peter Buchanan, senior economist at CIBC World Markets, was quoted on Reuters.

"Gold is going quiet. It’s good and healthy and characteristic of gold’s stair-step rally," Pete Sorrentino, who helps manage $13.8 billion at Huntington Asset Advisors in Cincinnati, Ohio, was quoted on Bloomberg. "We’ll see a little more downward pressure and then begin to trade sideways for an indeterminate time."

Silver prices for March delivery rose 28.4 cents, or 1.0 percent, to $29.343 an ounce. It ranged from $29.005 to $29.450.

Platinum prices for April delivery fell $1.60, or 0.1 percent, to $1,844.20 an ounce. Prices ranged from a low of $1,835.00 to a high of $1,851.90.

Palladium prices for March delivery advanced $2.60, or 0.3 percent, to $819.05 an ounce. It ranged from $814.45 to $823.25.

In PM London bullion prices, the gold fixing was $1,347.50 an ounce for a loss of $7.50 from the previous PM fixing. The London Silver Fix was $29.21 an ounce, up 30 cents. Both platinum and palladium were higher by $7.00. Platinum was $1,845.00 an ounce and palladium was $820.00 an ounce.

United States Mint authorized buyers ordered another 711,500 ounces of American Silver Eagles since Friday, bringing their year-to-date sales to 7.26 million. American Gold Eagle bullion coins remained unchanged.

The latest United States Mint bullion sales figures follow.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
February 2011 Totals
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 12,500 143,000
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) 838,000 7,260,000

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