Gold Prices Drop Below $1,700; Silver Falls Toward $31


Fine Gold BarsGold prices closed well below $1,700 an ounce Monday as commodities, stocks and everything else considered even semi-risky were sold in favor of the U.S. dollar.

"We have a firmer dollar, and that is negative for gold," Peter Fertig, the owner of Quantitative Commodity Research Ltd. in Hainburg, Germany, said by telephone that was cited on Bloomberg. "There might be some small bargain-hunting at these levels, but I’m looking more for the downside in gold than the upside."

Gold prices tumbled $46.50, or 2.7 percent, to $1,678.60 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in New York — the lowest settlement price since October 24. Gold prices bracketed intraday levels of between $1,670.50 and $1,727.40 — a spread of $56.90.

Last week gold slid 3.5 percent to suffer its deepest 5-day loss since September 23. The fall was also mostly attributed to a stronger U.S. dollar. The greenback on Monday hit a six-week high against other world currencies, although later pared gains as news broke that the 12-member congressional "super committee" was ready to announce its failure in arriving at an agreement over $1.2 trillion in U.S. deficit cuts.

"Contributing to the pre-Thanksgiving thanklessness in the markets was the expectation that the only ‘super’ thing the US debt-reduction Supercommittee was preparing to announce was a ‘super-failure’ of a stalemate," wrote Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.

"In a virtual replay of this summer’s finger-pointing festival in DC, the two sides that have been sitting at the negotiation table since August are best agreeing to disagree on basic bullet points that would commence tackling the US’ deficit; outlays and revenues."

Silver prices for December delivery plunged $1.301, or 4.0 percent, to settle at $31.116 an ounce. Silver touched an intraday low of $30.650 and reached a high of $32.415. Silver dived 6.5 percent last week.

Platinum prices for January delivery declined $44.90, or 2.8 percent, to $1,543.80 an ounce, trading between $1,542.40 and $1,593.00.

Palladium prices for December delivery fell $19.35, or 3.2 percent, to $585.80 an ounce, ranging from $582.20 to $605.25.

London Precious Metals

Earlier fixed London precious metals stumbled hard as well, and for a second straight day. When comparing London fixings on Monday (PM) from those on Friday (PM), gold prices declined $17.00 to $1,702.00 an ounce, silver fell $1.35 to $30.90 an ounce, platinum lost $27.00 to $1,567.00 an ounce and palladium declined $16.00 to $592.00 an ounce.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales

Sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins were unchanged Monday as of 4:28 p.m. ET. The latest available daily, monthly, and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow. All sales represent coin totals, not ounces of gold or silver coins sold.

Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins
  Daily Gains November Gains YTD 2011
American Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 0 16,000 822,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 0 65,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 2,000 80,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 10,000 365,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 4,000 149,000
American Silver Eagle (1 oz.) 0 844,000 37,319,500


Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins
YTD 2011
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 83,300
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 32,200
Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 24,400
TOTAL 393,300


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