Gold Prices Ease 0.5%, Silver Gains 0.3%


Fine Gold Bars While other precious metals advanced Monday, gold prices dipped for a second straight session despite weakness in the U.S. dollar.

"There is so much bearishness in the market that gold prices would be much lower if it weren’t for the Eurozone debt crisis and rising tensions between Iran and the western nations," Reuters quoted Carlos Perez-Santalla, precious metals broker at PVM Futures.

Gold prices declined $8.70, or 0.5%, to $1,608.10 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold bracketed an intraday low of $1,605.70 and a high of $1,624.60. Gold gained $50, or 3.2%, in the first week of 2012.

"The latest batch of CFTC positioning reports in metals indicates that speculators continue to view gold’s near-term prospects as somewhat clouded. The net-long position continues to erode and the trade continues to watch the euro and the gold charts with a wary eye," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.

Silver prices for March delivery edged up 9.9 cents, or 0.3%, to $28.782 an ounce, trading between $28.550 and $29.205. Silver rose 2.8% last week.

"While a slight amelioration in positioning was noted in silver last week, we must take note of the 2,287 tonnes of short positions on the books and contrast that situation with last year’s average of 1,140 tonnes. As well, the long positions are a… long way off from 2011’s average of 4,538 tonnes (currently tallied at 2,179 tonnes) indicating bearishness in abundance," said Nadler.

Platinum prices for April delivery advanced $21.40, or 1.5%, to $1,429.60 an ounce, ranging from $1,391.30 to $1,434.20. Platinum gained 0.2% in the first week of 2012.

Palladium prices for March delivery gained $3.85, or 0.6%, to $617.85 an ounce, trading between $607.00 and $621.00. Palladium plunged 6.4% last week.

London Precious Metals

London precious metals declined in tandem. When comparing the London fixings on Monday (PM) from those on Friday (PM), gold prices fell $1.50 to $1,615.00 an ounce, silver lost 55.0 cents to $28.85 an ounce, platinum dropped $7.00 to $1,403.00 an ounce, and palladium fell $16.00 to $616.00 an ounce

U.S. Mint Bullion Coins

The biggest U.S. Mint bullion coin increases on Monday came from the one-ounce American Eagle coins, according to the latest stats from the bureau. The American Gold Eagle added 3,500 while the American Silver Eagle added 410,000. The Silver Eagle’s January total of 3,957,000 now ranks above ten of the monthly levels from 2011, behind September 2011’s 4,460,500 and January 2011’s 6,422,000 — the most ever in a month for the series.

The latest daily and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales follow:

Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins
  Daily Gains January/YTD 2012
American Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.) 3,500 56,500
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 2,000 15,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 30,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 75,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 3,500
American Silver Eagle 410,000 3,957,000


Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins
Gains Total
Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 500 84,600
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 0 34,300
Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 0 26,900
TOTAL 500 145,800


All bullion coin totals in the above tables are in the number of coins sold, not the amount of ounces.

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Whenever gold prices go down, Mr. Nadler of Kitco is supposed to report it.