Gold Falls, Silver Prices Tumble 7.7%


Fine Gold BarsU.S gold retreated while silver prices tumbled 7.7 percent Wednesday as the U.S. dollar rallied and crude oil plummeted.

June gold prices lost $15.50, or 1.0 percent, to settle at $1,501.40 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold trades ranged between $1,495.40 and $1,526.80.

"Sharply lower crude oil prices and a strong rebound in the U.S. dollar index prompted the heavy selling pressure in the precious metals," noted Jim Wyckoff of Kitco Metals Inc.

"The CME Group futures conglomerate halted trading in Nymex liquid energy futures in New York for the first time since 2008 when gasoline futures hit limit down of 25 cents a gallon, following a bearish U.S. Department of Energy weekly report on energy stocks. Trading resumed shortly afterward with daily trading limits expanded by double the normal amounts for liquid energy futures. Still, the already-nervous commodity sector, including precious metals, saw selling pressure accelerate."

Silver prices for July delivery declined $2.971 to close at $35.515 an ounce, trading between $35.100 and $39.470.

Platinum prices for July delivery ended down $23.10, or 1.3 percent, to $1,777.80 an ounce. Platinum reached an intraday low of $1,775.90 and touched a high of $1,812.00.

Palladium prices for June delivery dropped $17.25, or 2.4 percent, to close at $715.40 an ounce. Prices traded between $714.25 and $737.00.

London precious metals were mixed when comparing their PM fixings on Wednesday to those on Tuesday. Gold declined $5.50 at $1,508.00 an ounce, silver rose 78.0 cents at $39.180 an ounce and palladium declined $8.00 at $725.00 an ounce. Platinum remained unchanged at $1,793.00 an ounce.

Sales gains in United States Mint bullion products were limited to the two largest American Gold Eagles. The one-ounce size matched the previous day’s increase of 1,500 and the half ounce size rose 2,000. The latest bullion coin sales figures as provided by the Mint follow:

US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 1,500 68,500 426,500
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 2,000 19,000 52,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 4,000 56,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 15,000 215,000
Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 5,000 63,500
Silver Eagle (1 oz.) 0 1,421,000 16,669,000
ATB Silver Bullion (5 oz.)* 0 25,000 250,400


*Sales figures for the five-ounce America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins were last published by the United States Mint on Tuesday, May 10. All other sales figures are as of Wednesday, May 11.

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