With the exception of a very modest gain in palladium futures, the major metals gold, silver and platinum each declined 1.0 percent Monday. Precious metals were further pressured when news broke that the euro nations may be stripped of their AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s.
"Gold is not getting stronger with all the uncertainty in Europe, and the S&P story has exacerbated gold’s losses more," Reuters quoted Michael Matousek, senior trader at U.S. Global Investors Inc (GROW.O), which has $2.5 billion in assets.
Gold prices dropped $16.80 to $1,734.50 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold hit a low of $1,721.10 and a high of $1,758.80.
"Investors once again had to try to make sense of headlines that used the same set of words about the European situation and the only substitutions being made in the titles were the words ‘fell’ versus the previously used ‘rose’ when it came to mentioning what gold did in relation to the very same events," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.
"The formula keeps changing and the public remains disoriented as to just what gold is supposed to or not supposed to do amid current conditions. Certainly, last week’s concerted central bank action and its impact that had a half-life of a fruit fly have all but dissipated from the market."
Precious metals losses on Monday were also attributed to some profit-taking. Gold gained 3.9 percent last week.
Silver prices for March delivery declined 31.4 cents to settle at $32.372 an ounce. Silver touched an intraday low of $32.380 and reached a high at $33.085. Silver prices soared 5.4 percent last week.
Platinum prices for January delivery fell $16.00 to $1,532.50 an ounce, ranging between $1,522.10 and $1,560.00. Platinum tacked on a modest 1 percent increase last week.
Palladium prices for March delivery advanced 65.0 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $646.50 an ounce, trading from $633.50 to $654.50. Palladium jumped 13.3 percent last week.
London Precious Metals
In London, gold losses were tempered while other precious metals fell with a bit of intensity. When comparing London fixings on Monday (PM) from those on Friday (PM), gold dipped $3.00 to $1,744.00 an ounce, silver fell 67.0 cents to $32.480 an ounce, platinum declined $25.00 to $1,534.00 an ounce and palladium lost $11.00 to $642.00 an ounce
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Weekly Sales
U.S. Mint bullion coin sales rose Monday and for the first time in December. The one ounce Gold Eagle advanced 7,000 for the day, or more than 1/6 the total of its entire November pick-up. The Silver Eagle added an impressive 806,000, or more than 1/2 of the entire amount sold in November. The Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coins also added 600.
The newest daily, monthly, and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales follow:
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||December Gains||YTD 2011|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||7,000||7,000||851,500|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||0||0||65,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||0||0||82,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||0||370,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||6,000||6,000||159,500|
|American Silver Eagle (1 oz.)||806,000||806,000||38,665,500|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins*|
|Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||n/a – sold out||126,700|
|Glacier National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||n/a – sold out||126,700|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||0||83,300|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||300||32,500|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||300||24,700|