Gold Ends Winning Streak, Silver Retreats 0.8%


Fine Gold BarsU.S. gold futures prices edged lower Thursday for the first time in five sessions. The yellow metal, along with silver, pulled back on profit-taking and corrective easing. Gold lost 0.3 percent while silver declined 0.8 percent. Platinum edged lower as well, falling 0.1 percent. Palladium bucked the trend, rising a solid 1.3 percent.

June gold prices declined $3.90 to close at $1,522.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold touched an intraday low at $1,514.60 and a high at $1,531.10. The metal has gained nearly 1 percent this week and has climbed just over 7 percent on the year.

"Market sentiment toward gold has become more positive over the past few days, as illustrated by the resumption of net inflows into ETFs," said BNP Paribas analyst Anne-Laure Tremblay, according to Reuters. "I believe that the gold price will trend higher from its current levels in 2011," she said, adding the other key drivers of the gold price this year were still present.

Silver prices for July delivery lost 31.2 cents to settle at $37.330 an ounce, trading between $36.265 and $38.845. Sharp increases in the previous two days has lifted silver 6.4 percent higher this week. In regards to the white metal, Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., writes the following in his daily commentary:

"A larger than nine percent reversal in the price of silver overnight helped drag the entire precious metals complex to lower price ground as the new trading day dawned on Thursday. Proving once again that it is little more than investment nitroglycerine, the white metal turned away from the high of $39.01 seen just hours prior to the start of trading this morning and fell to lows just above the $36.00 mark as sellers made an aggressive exit from the niche and likely took some sizeable profits in the process.

For the moment, the previously apparent push towards the upper end of the $39 – $42 zone appears to have failed at the bottom end of that range and brings into question what might come next for the metal. At any rate, the leakage just this week of some 280 metric tonnes of silver from the ETFs that use it for their backing has helped bring the total tally of the current year’s losses in such balances to 1,331 metric tonnes. Not exactly the type of pattern that makes for a sustainable period of price strength in silver."

Platinum prices for July delivery retreated $1.70 to close at $1,778.10 an ounce. Prices moved between $1,766.10 and $1,790.00.

Palladium prices for June delivery rose $9.85 to settle at $757.20 an ounce. The metal traded from a low of $743.50 to a high of $757.45.

London metals were mixed when comparing their fixing prices on Thursday (PM) from those on Wednesday (PM). Gold declined $7.75 at $1,518.50 an ounce while silver lost 22.0 cents to $36.950 an ounce. Platinum gained $5.00 at $1,779.00 an ounce while palladium added $11.00 to $755.00 an ounce.

United States Mint bullion gains were limited to the American Silver Eagle coin (+25,000) and the American Buffalo Gold coin (+2,000). The bullion Silver Eagle is currently 1,000 shy of hitting 3 million in sales for the month of May. The .999 fine silver coin has already topped the levels from each of the previous two months.

US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 0 92,500 450,500
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 22,000 55,000
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.) 2,000 15,500 74,000
Silver Eagle (1 oz.) 25,000 2,999,000 18,247,000
ATB Silver Bullion (5 oz.)* 0 88,700 314,100

*The ATB Silver bullion coin sales figures are generally released once a week, and have an "as of date" of Monday.

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