Gold declined for the first time in three sessions, giving back more than it gained during the previous two. Europe’s debt crisis, a firmer greenback and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s sour assessment of the U.S. economy damaged Tuesday’s appeal for precious metals, opined analysts.
"The recovery from the crisis has been much less robust than we had hoped," Bernanke said Tuesday in a testimony to Congress’s Joint Economic Committee. He said the Fed expects a "somewhat slower pace of economic growth over coming quarters than it did at the time of the June meeting" when FOMC members most recently submitted economic forecasts.
Gold prices fell $41.70, or 2.5 percent, to settle at $1,616.00 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold touched an intraday low of $1,613.00 and reached a high at $1,681.50.
"Gold is waking up to two sobering facts: that a [third round of quantitative easing] is not on the way, and slower growth worldwide is deflationary and therefore bad for gold," MarketWatch quoted Keith Springer, president of Springer Financial Advisors. "Absent either of those, there’s little reason to own gold — except for a catastrophic hedge, which would be very short lived."
Silver prices for December delivery declined 95.6 cents, or 3.1 percent, to close at $29.839 an ounce. Silver traded from a low of $29.360 to a high of $31.355. Jim Wyckoff of Kitco Metals Inc. writes in the Tuesday Kitco Roundup about silver’s near-term technicals:
"December silver futures prices closed nearer the session low Tuesday. Prices were pressured by bearish ‘outside markets’ — a firmer U.S. dollar index and lower crude oil prices. Prices are also in a six-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart. A bearish pennant pattern has also formed on the daily bar chart for silver.
Silver bulls’ next upside price objective is producing a close above strong technical resistance at last week’s high of $33.585 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week’s low of $26.15.
First resistance is seen at $30.00 and then at this week’s high of $31.43. Next support is seen at $29.09 and then at $28.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.0."
Platinum prices for January delivery slid $48.50, or 3.2 percent, to settle at $1,468.60 an ounce, trading from $1,463.30 to $1,515.20.
Palladium prices for December delivery fell $29.60, or 5.0 percent, to close at $564.15 an ounce, ranging between $543.20 and $595.50.
London Precious Metals Fixings
London precious metals declined across the board. When comparing PM fixings on Monday to those on Tuesday, losses included gold by $17.50 to $1,638.00 an ounce, silver by 45.0 cents to $30.60 an ounce, platinum by $20.00 to $1,481.00 an ounce and palladium by $7.00 to $588.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
American Silver Eagles were the only bullion coins to rise Tuesday, according to published U.S. Mint’s figures. The .999 fine silver bullion coins advanced 50,000, their weakest gain in several days.
The following two articles offer insights into how the Mint’s bullion products performed in September:
- American Gold Eagle Bullion Coin Sales Retreat in September 2011
- September 2011 Sales of American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins Set Record
The latest daily, October and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||0||7,500||767,500|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||1,000||63,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||2,000||74,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||0||345,000|
|Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||3,000||135,500|
|Silver Eagles (1 oz.)||50,000||787,000||34.1985M|
|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||81,700|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||29,600|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||19,100|
*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 Thursday, September 29. The overall year-to-date total is current as of October 3 (2,800 of the five ounce coins have sold in October).