Gold Advances 4.4% in 11th Quarterly Gain, Silver Plunges 8.1% in Quarter


Fine Gold BarsU.S. gold futures prices edged lower Thursday after rising during the previous two sessions. The yellow metal ended down in June but maintained enough momentum in the previous two months to register its 11th straight quarterly gain. Other precious metals ended lower in the second quarter.

August gold prices declined $7.60, or 0.5 percent, to settle at $1,502.80 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold traded between $1,501.20 and $1,514.80.

"Gold did go up on worries about the whole Greek situation, so to some extent that money is coming out. I think the important thing really is gold will do very well in the months ahead, mainly because we can see a lot of Asian buying pick-up on dips," Standard Chartered analyst Daniel Smith, was quoted on Reuters.

"We are in an economic upswing even though it is quite bumpy, so what will happen is we will see more money diverted into gold as people’s incomes rise, particularly in places like China," he added.

Gold rose 4.4 percent in the second quarter despite its 2.2 percent fall in June. Gold gained 1.3 percent in the first quarter and has jumped 5.7 percent in 2011.

"With the sovereign premium lifted, gold needs to find new drivers if it is to regain its highs," Edel Tully, a London- based analyst at UBS AG, said in a report cited on Bloomberg. Still, prices are "unlikely to fall far. Anyone who wanted to sell gold is likely to have done so in the second half of last week."

Silver prices for September delivery rose 6.3 cents, or 0.2 percent, to close at $34.832 an ounce. Silver prices ranged between $34.470 and $35.160. The metal declined 9.1 percent in June, augmenting its quarterly loss to 8.1 percent. However, silver prices remain 12.6 percent higher in 2011.

"Gold and silver were seen correcting their recent slides with yesterday’s technical bounces but Elliott Wave analysis continues to expect larger-scale declines in the yellow and the white metal to resume soon and bring prices to significantly lower levels," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.

"Specifically, the EW team expects gold to possibly target value zones that extend from ‘well below $1400’ to a possible $1,307.80 low. Silver could, in turn, be drawn to lows in the low $20s if the current wave pattern analysis turns out to be correct. Only a rise above the $37.90 level would negate the bearish stance in the market and allow for silver to rise towards $40+ in the process," wrote Nadler.

Platinum prices for October delivery declined 50.0 cents to $1,726.10 an ounce. The metal hit a low of $1,720.00 and a high of $1,733.40. Platinum declined in June and for the quarter with respective losses of 5.9 percent and 3.2 percent. It has fallen 2.9 percent in 2011.

Palladium prices for September delivery rose $8.75, or 1.2 percent, to close at $760.65 an ounce. Prices moved between $751.50 and $763.00. Palladium prices also fell for the month (-2.6 percent), quarter (-0.9 percent) and are lower on the year (-5.3 percent).

London bullion prices moved higher on the day, declined in June and were mixed in the second quarter. When comparing London Fix prices on Thursday (PM) from those on Wednesday (PM), gold advanced $1.25 to $1,505.50 an ounce, silver rose 63.0 cents at $35.020 an ounce, platinum gained $6.00 to $1,722.00 an ounce, and palladium advanced $18.00 at $761.00 an ounce.

Monthly precious metals losses in London were 2.0% for gold, 9.4 percent for silver, 5.8 percent for platinum and 2.1 percent for palladium. Gold gained 4.6 percent since March 31. The other metals declined, with quarterly losses of 7.5 percent for silver, 2.9 percent for platinum and 0.7 percent for palladium.

Sales of the one-ounce United States Mint bullion coins advanced Thursday while other sizes remained unchanged. The Gold Eagle rose 4,000, the Silver Eagle climbed 28,000 and the Gold Buffalo moved up 1,500. While the Mint has not officially closed out June, the following sales figures are likely the final ones for the month:

US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 4,000 56,000 507,500
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 0 55,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 8,000 64,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 35,000 250,000
Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 1,500 5,500 79,500
Silver Eagle (1 oz.) 28,000 3.402M 22.3035M
ATB Silver Bullion (5 oz.)* 0 19,000 345,800

*America the Beautiful (ATB) Silver bullion coin sales figures are not published by the United States Mint daily. The current figure has an "as of date" of June 27.

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