Gold Retreats Below $1,600; Silver Prices Drop Under $40


Fine Gold BarsU.S. gold futures on Wednesday closed slightly lower and below the psychological $1,600 an ounce level. Profit-taking and optimism towards U.S. debt talks were again cited catalysts for the second straight day of losses.

August gold prices declined $4.20, or 0.3 percent, to settle at $1,596.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold finished closer to its intraday high, which was $1,600.80, than its low at $1,581.10 an ounce.

"The deal is not done, even it seems like everyone is somewhat optimistic about what is being implemented. And no one knows what’s going to happen to Greece and Europe," said Phillip Streible, senior market strategist with Lind Waldock, according to Reuters. "I can see another healthy correction before fresh buying comes in if there are some form of resolutions, as the need for safety will come off for the time being," he said.

Silver prices for September delivery lost 66.3 cents, or 1.6 percent, to close at $39.558 an ounce. The metal on Monday had closed above $40 an ounce for the first time since May 3. Silver prices on Wednesday traded between $38.215 and $39.870. Jim Wyckoff of Kitco Metals Inc. wrote the following of silver in the Wednesday Kitco Metals Roundup:

"December silver futures prices closed nearer the session high Wednesday. The silver bulls still have the overall technical advantage.

Bulls’ next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at this week’s high of $40.90 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at $38.00.

First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $39.865 and then at $40.00. Next support is seen at $39.00 and then at $38.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 7.0."

Platinum prices for October delivery declined a modest 20.0 cents to $1,776.10 an ounce. Prices ranged from a low of $1,762.90 to a high of $1,780.90.

Palladium prices for September delivery ended down $4.65, or 0.6 percent, to $793.65 an ounce. Palladium traded between $786.30 and $796.00.

Precious metals prices retreated in London as well, with silver prices falling for the biggest percentage loss. When comparing London bullion fixings on Wednesday (PM) from those on Tuesday (PM), gold declined $15.00 to $1,586.00 an ounce, silver prices fell $1.73 at $38.590 an ounce, platinum lost $9.00 to $1,764.00 an ounce, and palladium declined $3.00 at $789.00 an ounce.

United States Mint American Silver Eagle bullion coins remained flat for a second straight day, according to the newest sales figures from the bureau. Two American Gold Eagle bullion coins advanced, however. The one-ounce size rose 5,500 and the one-half ounce made an appearance of 2,000 after several days of silence. The latest United States Mint bullion product sales figures follow:

US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 5,500 56,000 29,500 537,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 2,000 0 3,000 58,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 8,000 0 64,000
Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 35,000 5,000 255,000
Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 5,500 8,500 88,000
Silver Eagle (1 oz.) 0 3.402M 1.9695M 24.273M


America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales*
Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. 126,700
Glacier National Park 5 oz. 126,700
Olympic National Park 5 oz. 80,700
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. 21,800


*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 11.

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