Gold prices jumped more than $23 Tuesday, snapping a two-session losing streak, as weakness in the U.S. dollar appealed to precious metals traders.
"The dollar is selling off, benefiting gold and commodities," Scott Gardner, the chief investment officer at Verdmont Capital SA in Panama, said in an e-mail that was relayed on Bloomberg. "Risky assets have been well bid in 2012 on the heels of relatively solid economic news in the U.S. and the belief that much of the bad news out of Europe has been priced in."
Gold prices surged $23.40, or 1.5%, to $1,631.50 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. The settlement price was gold’s best in four weeks. Gold prices dipped as low as $1,609.20 and reached as high as $1,641.40.
Silver prices for March delivery soared $1.033, or 3.6%, to $29.815 an ounce. The white metal’s low came in at $28.905 while its high reached $30.310. Jim Wyckoff of Kitco News writes in the Tuesday Kitco Roundup about silver’s near-term technicals:
"March silver futures prices closed nearer the session high Tuesday and hit a fresh four-week high. More short covering and bargain hunting were featured. The key ‘outside markets’ were also bullish for silver today, as the U.S. dollar index was weaker and crude oil prices were higher.
A 10-week-old downtrend on the daily bar chart was negated Tuesday and silver bulls gained some fresh upside technical momentum. Bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at $31.00 an ounce.
The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below major technical support at $28.12. First resistance is seen at Tuesday’s high of $30.31 and then at $30.50. Next support is seen at $29.50 and then at $29.00. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 4.
Platinum prices for April delivery gained $35.00, or 2.4%, to $1,464.60 an ounce, ranging from $1,425.50 to $1,475.00.
Palladium prices for March delivery advanced $17.35, or 2.8%, to $635.20 an ounce, trading between $618.00 and $645.20.
London Precious Metals
London precious metals rose as well. When comparing the London fixings on Tuesday (PM) from those on Monday (PM), gold prices added $22.00 to $1,637.00 an ounce, silver advanced 84.0 cents to $29.69 an ounce, platinum gained $59.00 to $1,462.00 an ounce and palladium added $27.00 to $643.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins – Silver Eagles Lead
Each of the U.S. Mint’s one ounce bullion coins registered healthy gains Tuesday. Leading sales were Silver Eagles, jumping 300,000 on the day after rising 410,000 on Monday. The Silver Eagles continue on a pace that would break the all-time monthly sales record of 6.422 million set in January 2010. Sales through the first ten days of this month have already reached 4.257 million.
Two sizes of the Gold Eagles rose Tuesday. The one-half ounce added 2,000 and the one ounce added 2,500. U.S. Mint authorized purchasers this month have ordered 82,500 ounces across the 22-karat gold series, the best level since 91,000 ounces moved in September.
After a few days of silence, the Mint’s 24-karat Gold Buffalo bullion coin rallied 4,000 to stand at sales of 7,500 for the month.
The latest daily 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||January/YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)||2,500||59,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||2,000||17,000|
|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.)||4,000||7,500|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins|
|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|
All bullion coin totals in the above tables are in the number of coins sold, not the amount of ounces. The United States Mint does not always provide daily sales figures for its 5-ounce silver coins. Those sales are current as of Monday, January 9, 2012.