U.S. gold futures prices advanced to a new all-time record of $1,500.50 an ounce before settling back a notch to register a more modest 0.1 percent increase on Tuesday.
Silver was on fire as the metal glowed toward $44 an ounce and finished up 2.2 percent. Weakness in the U.S. dollar, rising crude-oil and worldwide credit/debt concerns were noted as supporting the two precious metals.
June gold prices advanced $2.20 to close at $1,495.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold prices have rallied 5.2 percent in 2011.
"The U.S. credit rating will undoubtedly be lowered in the next few years," Michael Pento, a senior economist at Euro Pacific Capital in New York, was quoted on Bloomberg. "This will mean much higher borrowing costs and a much lower currency. International investors have been using gold and silver as an alternative currency and an alternative to the dollar, and this will only exacerbate and accelerate that process."
"The fact that gold hit the much-anticipated $1,500 mark will now garner even more general media attention, which in turn will likely draw even more general investor demand to the precious yellow metal," said Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News. "With the $1,500 mark now being hit for gold futures, traders and investors are now eyeing the next major upside technical price objective, which is $1,600 an ounce."
Silver prices for May delivery soared 95.7 cents to $43.913 an ounce. Silver later reached to $44.175 an ounce in electronic trading — a new 31-year high. Silver prices have surged 41.9 percent in 2011.
Platinum prices for July delivery declined $11.50, or 0.6 percent, to settle at $1,771.30 an ounce. Platinum touched an intraday low of $1,762.40 and a high of $1,791.00. The metal has fallen 0.4 percent this year.
Palladium prices for June delivery ended down $8.00, or 1.1 percent, to $731.10 an ounce. Palladium traded between $726.65 and $745.50. It is down 9.0 percent in 2011.
Earlier London PM fixing prices turned out differently than in New York. Silver and platinum advanced while palladium and gold prices fell when comparing their Tuesday from Monday PM fixes.
The PM gold fix lost $2.50 at $1,490.50 an ounce. Silver added 43.0 cents at $43.220 an ounce. The platinum fix rose $2.00 at $1,780.00 an ounce. Palladium declined $12.00 at $737.00 an ounce.
Bullion American Silver Eagles were the single U.S. Mint bullion coin to advance Tuesday, according to the bureau. The .999 fine silver bullion coins rose 21,500 to 14.53 million for the year.
The following are the latest U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures:
|U.S. Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|April 2011||YTD 2011|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1 oz)||56,000||319,500|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/2 oz)||0||22,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/4 oz)||0||40,000|
|American Eagle Gold Coin (1/10 oz)||15,000||175,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz)||12,500||50,500|
|American Eagle Silver (1 oz)||2,101,000||14,530,000|