U.S. gold futures rallied for a sixth straight day on Wednesday, closing to an all-time record high. Silver prices soared 2.6 percent, advancing above $37 an ounce and finishing at its own 31-year high. Unrest in Libya, dour U.S. housing data, and fresh euro zone debt concerns were among the bullish topics analysts cited for safe-haven gains in precious metals.
April gold prices rose $10.40, or 0.7 percent to settle at $1,438.00 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The price topped the previous closing record set on March 2 by 30 cents.
Gold prices traded as low as $1,425.80 an ounce and reached as high as $1,441.20 an ounce. The high was several dollars shy of the $1,445.70 an ounce record reached on March 7.
"The new home sales data inspired some to think that we may not see the demise of QE2, and we are going to see money printing continue past its potential expiration at the end of June," Reuters quoted Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist of broker-dealer Janney Montgomery Scott with $53 billion assets under management. "That would likely mean more stimuli and more prospect for inflation, and that’s gold friendly."
New U.S. home sales tumbled 16.9 percent in February, marking their lowest level since record keeping began in 1963.
"There’s so much going on in the world that it’s hard to find a reason not to own gold," Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Lind-Waldock in Chicago, said and was cited on Bloomberg. "There’s a flight-to-quality to metals across the board."
Silver prices for May delivery soared 92.9 cents to close at $37.198 an ounce. The metal has risen for four straight days. Silver hit an intraday low of $36.150 and a high of $37.290.
"The silver bulls have the overall near-term and longer-term technical advantage. There are no early clues to suggest a market top is close at hand," wrote Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News.
"The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $35.00. Bulls’ next upside price objective is producing a close above psychological resistance at $40.00 an ounce. First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $37.29 and then at $37.50. Next support is seen at $36.745 and then at $36.50."
Platinum prices for April delivery added $20.60, or 1.2 percent, to $1,760.00 an ounce. Prices ranged from $1,734.60 to $1,763.60.
Palladium prices for June delivery advanced $11.45, or 1.6 percent, to finish at $749.30 an ounce. Palladium traded between $734.90 and $751.00.
London fix precious metals prices rose when comparing their latest to previous PM fixings, but at smaller levels than gains in New York.
The London gold fix added $13.50 to $1,439.50 an ounce. Silver jumped 63 cents to $36.58 an ounce. The platinum fixing advanced $8.00 to $1,744.00 an ounce. Palladium remained unchanged at $739.00 an ounce.
Increases in United States Mint bullion coins were modest. The one-ounce 22-karat American Eagle Gold rose 2,000 while the one-ounce 24-karat American Buffalo Gold bullion coin added 1,000. No other bullion coins showed sales gains, according to United States Mint published figures shown below.
|U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|March 2011||YTD 2011|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||46,500||249,500|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||4,000||17,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||20,000||38,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||30,000||150,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz)||32,000||32,000|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||2,069,500||11,731,500|