U.S. gold prices rallied 1.1 percent on Wednesday to close near $1,530 an ounce and at a two-week high. Inflation and euro zone debt worries were prodding factors in gains for both gold and silver. Platinum and palladium ended modestly lower.
August gold prices rose $16.50 to close at $1,529.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York — their best settlement level since June 22. The yellow metal touched a low of $1,510.30 and reached a high of $1,534.50.
"China has done a number of reserve requirement increases over the last several months — however, you have climbing inflation, so in real terms you are not making any money by just holding cash," VM Group analyst Carl Firman was quoted on Reuters. "A lot of new middle-class Chinese have cottoned on to this, and there is a lot of demand for gold as a store of wealth under these circumstances.
"The persistent debt problems in both Europe and the U.S. are a big part of gold’s gains this week," Peter Grant, senior metals analyst at USAGold-Centennial Precious Metals Inc. was quoted on MarketWatch. "It’s quickly becoming a question of credibility. As the troika flails about trying to mitigate the Greek crisis without creating a default, they erode market confidence. That waning confidence in the troika has resulted in contagion to Portugal in the wake of yesterday’s downgrade.
Silver prices for September delivery settled up 50.6 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $35.916 an ounce. Silver prices ranged between $35.065 and $36.285.
Platinum prices for October delivery declined $8.70, or 0.5 percent, to close at $1,733.40 an ounce. The metal traded between $1,729.20 and $1,752.80.
Palladium prices for September delivery ended down $2.45, or 0.3 percent, to $773.20 an ounce. Palladium prices ranged from $767.60 to $780.50.
London bullion prices rose. When comparing London Fix prices on Wednesday (PM) from those on Tuesday (PM), gold prices gained $17.25 to $1,527.25 an ounce, silver advanced 62.0 cents at $35.380 an ounce, platinum rose $12.00 to $1,743.00 an ounce, and palladium gained $4.00 at $776.00 an ounce.
Gains in United States Mint bullion coins were limited on Wednesday to the American Silver Eagle. The coin advanced 32,000 to 418,000 for July. The latest available bullion coin sales figures are provided in the table below:
|US Mint 2011 Bullion Coin Sales|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||0||3,000||510,500|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||1,000||56,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||0||64,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||0||250,000|
|Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||500||80,000|
|Silver Eagle (1 oz.)||32,000||418,000||22.7215M|
|ATB Silver Bullion (5 oz.)*||–||–||345,800|
*America the Beautiful (ATB) Silver bullion coin sales figures are not published by the United States Mint daily. The current year-to-date figure has an "as of date" of July 5.