U.S. gold prices reached a four-week high Tuesday as weakness in the U.S. dollar and heightened inflation concerns added to the yellow metal’s appeal.
April gold prices advanced $9.00, or 0.7 percent, to $1,374.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York — its best closing price since January 13. Gold ranged between $1,361.30 and $1,377.50 an ounce.
Newly released UK inflation data showed consumer prices were much higher in January than had been expected. China’s inflation rate was reported on Tuesday as well. It came in lower than forecasted, but the level rose the most in a decade when excluding the more volatile food costs.
"With inflation concerns heating up and the metals underpinned by a mix of physical and investment demand, it looks as if further gains are in the pipeline," James Moore, an analyst at TheBullionDesk.com in London, said in a report that was cited on Bloomberg.
Silver prices for March delivery advanced 16.2 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $30.696 an ounce. That was a fresh six-week high closing price. Silver ranged from $30.475 to $30.905.
Platinum prices for April delivery ended up $4.00, or 0.2 percent, to $1,831.60 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,826.60 and $1,848.30.
Palladium prices for March delivery rose $7.10, or 0.9 percent, to $839.90 an ounce. It ranged from $832.10 to $848.50.
In PM London precious metals prices, the gold fixing was $1,372.75 an ounce for a gain of $7.75 from the previous PM Fix. The London silver fixing was higher by 56 cents at $30.72 an ounce. Platinum rose $12.00 to $1,842.00. The palladium fixing surged $21.00 at $845.00 an ounce.
"A smaller than anticipated gain in US retail sales activity dragged the US dollar marginally lower on the trade-weighted index this morning, and, that data, coupled with rising inflation news out of the UK and China motivated further speculative activity in gold," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals, Inc.
In an unusual twist, one-ounce Gold and Silver American Eagle bullion coins remained unchanged Tuesday but the fractional American Gold Eagles sprang forward. The one-half ounce bullion Gold Eagle rose 5,000, its first increase in February. The one-fourth ounce size advanced 14,000. The one-tenth ounce size surged 75,000, capping a two-day increase of 95,000.
|U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||39,000||169,500|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||5,000||6,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||16,000||18,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||100,000||120,000|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||1,705,500||8,127,500|