Gold futures on Wednesday advanced for a third straight session and reached a two-week high. Safe-haven buying was again in focus as European governments agreed in principle to embargo Iranian crude due to the country’s nuclear program.
"The safe-haven story is back because of the political developments," David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago, said in a telephone interview cited on Bloomberg. "Also, we are seeing some bargain hunters return at current levels."
Gold prices rose $12.20, or 0.8%, to $1,612.70 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. The settlement price was gold’s highest since December 21. The yellow metal touched an intraday low of $1,593.80 and topped out at $1,619.80.
Silver prices for March delivery declined 47.5 cents, or 1.6%, to close at $29.097 an ounce. The white metal moved between $28.90 and $29.74. Jim Wyckoff of Kitco Metals Inc. writes in the Wednesday Kitco Roundup about silver’s near-term technicals:
"March silver futures prices closed nearer the session low Wednesday. The key ‘outside markets’ were in a mostly bearish posture for the silver market Wednesday…
Bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $30.21 an ounce. The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below major technical support at last week’s low of $26.145.
First resistance is seen at Wednesday’s high of $29.74 and then at $30.00. Next support is seen at Wednesday’s low of $28.90 and then at $28.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 3.5. "
Platinum prices for April delivery retreated $6.20, or 0.4%, to $1,426.30 an ounce, trading between $1,419.00 and $1,441.80.
Palladium prices for March delivery fell $9.95, or 1.5%, to $653.55 an ounce, ranging from $645.80 to $668.00.
London Precious Metals
London precious metals prices, with the exception of palladium, moved higher. When comparing each of the London fixings on Wednesday (PM) from those on Tuesday (PM), gold advanced $15.00 to $1,613.00 an ounce, silver added 40.0 cents to $29.18 an ounce, platinum gained $9.00 to $1,415.00 an ounce and palladium declined $8.00 to $656.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins – 2012 Sales of Gold and Silver Eagles
Sales remained solid Wednesday for newly released American Gold Eagle and American Silver Eagle bullion coins. After their impressive sales start on Tuesday, bullion Silver Eagles jumped another 175,000 to lift their two-day January sales to 3,372,000. That represents a 67.8% increase over December and is already the highest total for a month since September.
The United States Mint sold another 8,000 ounces of its bullion Gold Eagles for a January total of 45,500 ounces. That is 20,000 ounces shy of the entire amount sold in December. The only American Eagle missing from the sales board Wednesday was the Mint’s smallest one-tenth ounce bullion coin.
The latest daily and 2012 U.S. Mint bullion sales figures follow.
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||January/YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||6,000||26,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||3,000||9,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||2,000||30,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||75,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||500||2,500|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins|
|Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||126,700||n/a|
|Glacier National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||126,700||n/a|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||84,100||0|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||34,300||0|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||26,900||0|
All sales in the above tables are in coins, not ounces sold.