Gold and silver prices retreated Wednesday as a stronger U.S. dollar was mostly blamed for losses. Gold for December delivery declined $34.40, or 2.1 percent, to finish at $1,618.10 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold’s daily range went from $1,617.40 to $1,672.00.
"The recovery process got a bit tougher in precious metals overnight as global investors once again sought refuge under the umbrella of the US dollar," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.
"The ‘Markozy’ plan and commitment to keep the union and the common currency intact by expanding "Le Tarp" was still being greeted with an obvious degree of skepticism despite advances in regional equity markets and yesterday’s commodities’ market recovery. Such recovery turned sour today as funds sold commodities in the wake of the US durable goods orders figures and as European consumer confidence fell to a 24-month low this month."
Silver prices for December delivery gave back nearly every cent picked up during the previous session. Prices fell $1.402, or 4.4 percent, to close at $30.134 an ounce. Silver hit an intraday low of $30.080 and touched a high of $32.880.
"We would stay out of the silver market at the moment," Edel Tully, a London-based analyst at UBS, wrote in a report cited on Bloomberg. "It is the most irrational of metals, and certainly not for the fainthearted."
Platinum prices for October delivery declined $35.90, or 2.3 percent, to settle at $1,538.10 an ounce. The PGM metal ranged between $1,531.20 and $1,573.80.
Palladium prices for December delivery ended down $15.20, or 2.3 percent, to $634.75 an ounce, trading between $631.90 and $657.00.
London Precious Metals Fixings
London precious metals were lower as well. In comparing PM fixings from Tuesday to Wednesday, the gold fix declined $16.00 at $1,643.00, silver prices lost $2.46 at $31.04, platinum declined $12.00 at $1,556.00 and palladium stepped back $3.00 at $644.00.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
The U.S. Mint realized another solid day of sales for its one-ounce bullion coins. The Gold Buffalo added 2,000 and the Gold Eagle added 7,000.
The biggest news, as has been the case since silver prices plummeted $10+ toward $30 an ounce, remains the rise of bullion Silver Eagles. The .999 fine silver coins jumped up another 300,000 on Wednesday. After several days of sharp gains, their September total, which was on the dreary side just one week ago at a bit above 1.4 million, is now above 3.7 million. That places September 2011 in third place for best monthly sales, under the 6.422 million sold in January and the 4.260 million delivered by the U.S. Mint in November 2010. Bullion Silver Eagles have been around since November 1986.
The latest daily, September and year-to-date bullion coin sales figures follow:
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||7,000||79,000||751,500|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||1,000||62,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||2,000||72,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||20,000||340,000|
|Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||2,000||12,000||131,500|
|Silver Eagles (1 oz.)||300,000||3.7255M||32.6765M|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins*|
|Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||126,700|
|Glacier National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||126,700|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||81,500|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||29,400|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||17,800|
*The Gettysburg and Glacier America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins are sold out. Unlike other investment-grade products, the United States Mint does not provide daily per coin sales totals for the Olympic, Vicksburg, and Chickasaw America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. The individual totals are as of Monday, September 19. The overall total is as of Monday, September 26 (700 additional five-ounce bullion coins sold since last week).