U.S. gold and silver prices extended their gains Wednesday as gold reached a new all-time record high for a second straight day and silver advanced to a fresh 31-year high for a third day. The metals gained on the back of a weaker U.S. dollar and expectations of higher inflation.
June gold prices added $6.00, or 0.4 percent, to settle at $1,458.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold hit an intraday low of $1,452.50 and a high of $1,463.70.
"People are very concerned about inflation, especially with our central bank holding rates so low for so long," Matt Zeman, a market strategist at Kingsview Financial in Chicago, said and was quoted on Bloomberg. "In the eyes of the investing public, Bernanke’s reputation as an inflation fighter is questionable, and you’re seeing people continue to buy precious metals."
Silver prices for May delivery advanced 20.4 cents, or 0.5 percent, to $39.387 an ounce. Silver prices traded between $39.120 and $39.785.
"Yesterday’s release of Fed meeting minutes led market participants to believe that the US central bank’s policymaking members are still divided over the timing of the withdrawal of the stimulus-oriented stance that their institution adopted in the wake of the financial crisis," wrote Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.
"At the same time, a rather disappointing reading in the ISM Services Index for the month of March, added to the woes of the US dollar and reinforced the feeling that the Fed will not be likely to end its QE2 program prior to its end-June expiry. Combine the above with crude oil hovering at or above 2.5 year highs and gold and silver were given the opportunity to rise to new price peaks."
Platinum prices for July delivery edged up $1.00, or 0.1 percent, to $1,797.80 an ounce. Prices ranged from $1,794.40 to $1,816.70.
Palladium prices for June delivery dropped $8.50, or 1.1 percent, to $784.60 an ounce. The metal touched an intraday low of $781.60 and a reached a high of $800.00.
London PM fix bullion prices advanced as compared to their PM fixings on Tuesday.
The PM gold fixing added $28.00 at $1,461.50 an ounce, the silver fix surged $1.55 at $39.630 an ounce, the platinum fixing advanced $21.00 at $1,808.00 an ounce, and the palladium fix jumped $13.50 at $793.50 an ounce.
For a second straight day, the one-ounce American Eagle Gold was the single United States Mint bullion coin to advance. It rose 3,000, the same amount as Tuesday. United States Mint bullion sales figures follow.
|U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|April 2011||YTD 2011|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||31,500||295,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||0||21,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||0||38,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||5,000||165,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz)||3,000||41,000|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||658,500||13,087,500|