Gold Advances 1.3% in 10th Quarterly Gain, Silver Surges 22.5% in Quarter


U.S. gold futures advanced for a second day on Thursday, capping a 10th straight quarterly gain and the best streak since 1975. Silver soared more than 22 percent during the quarter, easily outpacing percentage gains of other precious metals.

Fine Gold BarsGold futures prices for June delivery rose $15.00, or 1.1 percent, to $1,439.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold ranged from a low of $1,421.70 to a high of $1,441.00. Gold rose 1.3 percent in the quarter.

"Gold just managed by a whisker to produce another positive quarter, the 10th in a row. Overall, the performance was not impressive amid the multitude of uncertainties that the world had to deal with during the first three months of 2011," Ole Hansen, senior manager at Saxo Bank, said and was quoted on Reuters.

Silver prices for May delivery advanced 37.7 cents, or 1.0 percent, to settle at $37.888 an ounce. Silver traded between $37.375 and $37.980. Silver rallied 22.5 percent since December 31.

"Given the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa region, increasing debt issues in the euro zone and the environment of historically low interest rates, gold and silver should continue to remain underpinned and test toward recent highs," James Moore, an analyst at in London, said in a report cited on Bloomberg.

Platinum prices for July delivery rose $9.10, or 0.5 percent, to $1,783.20 an ounce. Prices ranged from $1,764.70 to $1,789.00. It rose a modest 0.3 percent in the quarter.

Palladium prices for June delivery added $9.80, or 1.3 percent, to close at $767.90 an ounce. Palladium traded between $752.10 and $772.00. It was the only precious metal to decline this quarter, registering a loss of 4.4 percent.

London fix precious metals were higher as well on Thursday when comparing their latest to previous PM fixings. The performances in the quarter were mixed.

The London gold fix rose $13.50 to $1,439.00 an ounce. Silver gained 34.0 cents at $37.870 an ounce. The platinum fixing added $13.00 to $1,773.00 an ounce. Palladium advanced $9.00 to $766.00 an ounce.

Quarter gains were 2.0 percent for gold, 23.6 percent for silver, and 2.4 percent for platinum. Palladium slid 3.2 percent during the first three months of this year.

United States Mint bullion coin sales levels remained unchanged from Wednesday. Finalized figures for March have not been published. For details on recent bullion and numismatic coin performances, read the latest US Mint sales article.

U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
March 2011 YTD 2011
American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz) 60,500 263,500
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz) 8,000 21,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz) 20,000 38,000
American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz) 40,000 160,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz) 38,000 38,000
American Eagle Silver (1 oz) 2,767,000 12,429,000


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