Gold and Other Precious Metals Little Changed


Fine Gold Bars

U.S. gold and other precious metals prices were nearly unchanged Wednesday.

April gold prices finished up $1, or 0.1 percent, to $1,375.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold ranged between $1,368.30 and $1,382.70 an ounce. The high came after Israel said two Iranian warships intended to move through the Suez Canal for training exercises in Syria, prompting a bout of safe-haven buying.

"There are a number of conflicting signals for what is usually driving gold," Peter Fertig, a consultant at Quantitative Commodity Research, said and was quoted on Reuters. "This is currently leading to a bit more sideways trading."

Jim Lowell, editor of the Fidelity Investor and Forbes ETF Advisor newsletters, believes gold prices will move significantly lower.

"Gold is about to go bust. There is not a supply issue with that commodity. Never has been," Lowell said in a podcast on MarketWatch. "And as soon as the world banks decide that one way to bail out their fiscal mishaps will be to sell gold at historically high prices — gold that they were buying in metric tons just last year — I think you will see a run on gold to the tune of 20% to 30% to the downside." Lowell added: "There’s a big fly-swatter that’s about to squash gold bugs."

Silver prices for March delivery dipped 6.7 cents, or 0.2 percent, to $30.629 an ounce. The metal hit a fresh six-week high on Tuesday. Silver ranged from $30.265 to $30.970.

Platinum prices for April delivery rose $2.70, or 0.1 percent, to $1,834.30 an ounce. Prices ranged between $1,826.00 and $1,840.80.

Palladium prices for March delivery declined $1.40, or 0.2 percent, to $838.50 an ounce. It ranged from $834.00 to $845.45.

In PM London precious metals prices, all but silver retreated. The London silver fix was up a modest 5.0 cents to $30.770 an ounce. The PM gold fixing was down from the previous PM fix by $1.50. It was $1,371.25 an ounce. Platinum lost $14.00 to $1,828.00. The palladium fixing declined $5.00 at $840.00 an ounce.

While fractional American Gold Eagles took off on the previous day, no gains for the 22-karat bullion coins were reported on Wednesday. Bullion American Silver Eagle coins did rise — the only United States Mint bullion coins to do so on Wednesday, advancing 25,000.

Rising gold prices did push United States Mint numismatic gold coin prices higher Wednesday, as was expected and reported on on Tuesday. All of the Mint’s 24-karat First Spouse Gold Coins rose by $25 and the proof American Buffalo Gold coin rose by $50.

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) 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) 1,730,500 8,152,500


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