Gold futures fell for a third straight day Tuesday as strength in the U.S. dollar curbed the appeal of precious metals.
"Gold is behaving erratically with some strong currents pushing it in two directions at once," said Ross Norman, chief executive at London-based bullion broker Sharps Pixley, in emailed comments cited on MarketWatch. "Primarily, it is selling on the strong dollar pushing gold lower, and strong physical and [exchange-traded fund] buying from some investors on the other side pushing gold higher."
Gold prices closed down $13.40, or 0.8 percent, to $1,711.80 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in New York. The day’s low came in at $1,681.20 while the high touched $1,725.60.
Silver prices for December delivery tumbled $1.623, or 4.7 percent, to $32.731 an ounce. Silver ranged between $32.105 and $34.725. Jim Wyckoff of Kitco Metals Inc. writes in the Tuesday Kitco Roundup about silver’s near-term technicals:
"December silver futures prices closed near mid-range Tuesday and saw more profit taking. The silver bulls still have the overall near-term technical advantage, but are fading a bit and need to show fresh power soon. A five-week-old uptrend is still in place on the daily bar chart.
Silver bulls’ next upside price objective is producing a close above solid technical resistance at last week’s high of $35.70 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below solid technical support at last week’s low of $31.23.
First resistance is seen at $34.00 and then at Tuesday’s high of $34.725. Next support is seen at $33.00 and then at $32.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0."
Platinum prices for January delivery settled to $1,582.00 an ounce, dropping $25.60, or 1.6 percent. Platinum traded from $1,559.60 and $1,614.10.
Palladium prices for December delivery declined $16.15, or 2.5 percent, to $635.00 an ounce. Prices moved between $624.05 and $650.60.
London Precious Metals
Bullion losses in London were heavy. When comparing London fixings on Tuesday (PM) from those on Monday (PM), gold declined $23.00 to $1,699.00 an ounce, silver fell $1.27 to $32.97 an ounce, platinum stepped back $34.00 to $1,572.00 an ounce, and palladium declined $22.00 to $631.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
The U.S. Mint on Tuesday published sales gains across each of its one-ounce bullion coins as well as its quarter-ounce American Gold Eagle. The latest daily, monthly, and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||November Gains||YTD 2011|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||4,000||4,000||810,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||0||65,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||2,000||2,000||80,000|
|Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||0||355,000|
|Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||500||500||145,500|
|American Silver Eagle (1 oz.)||25,000||25,000||36,500,500|
|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||82,700|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||31,600|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||22,300|
*The as of date for sales of U.S. Mint America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins is Monday, October 31, 2011. The Mint does not typically publish daily sales for its 5-ounce coins.