Gold prices rebounded 1.5% in the start of the U.S. holiday-shortened week and after dipping nearly $17 on Friday. Gold was said to advance primarily on a lower U.S. dollar and economic news out of China.
"China’s slowest pace of growth in over two years (ironically) prompted a rally in commodities as speculators turned bullish on the idea that the country’s central bank will now take easing steps in order to get growth back above the fourth quarter’s 8.9% level," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.
"The [precious and base] metals ignored the still perilous European situation and focused on risk-taking in the wake of the news from China. Naturally, a near half-percent lower US dollar helped the situation as well," added Nadler.
Gold prices advanced $24.80 to $1,655.60 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold moved between $1,609.00 and $1,668.00. Last week gold gained $14 as prices rose in three of five days.
"The issues that have been supportive of gold — the debt crisis, quantitative easing, lack of economic growth in Europe — should all still be there," said Citigroup analyst David Wilson, according to Reuters. "When we got down to $1,520, $1,530 (in December), you had to think, this is a good point to buy in."
"There are good reasons to see support for gold. There seems to be more confidence in gold at the moment," he added.
Silver prices for March delivery gained 61.3 cents, or 2.1%, to $30.135 an ounce. Silver bracketed an intraday low of $29.010 and a high of $30.595. The white metal advanced 2.8% in the second week of January.
Platinum prices for April delivery ended up $39.90, or 2.7%, to $1,528.70 an ounce, trading between $1,418.30 and $1,538.40. Platinum gained 5.7% last week.
Palladium prices for March delivery surged $20.45, or 3.2%, to $655.50 an ounce, ranging from $631.05 to $663.70. Palladium rose 3.4% during the second week of January.
London Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals advanced on the day as well, but a bit more modestly than futures in New York. When comparing the London fixings on Tuesday (PM) from those on Monday (PM), gold prices gained $15.00 to $1,656.00 an ounce, silver rose 51.0 cents to $30.41 an ounce, platinum added $28.00 to $1,523.00 an ounce, and palladium advanced $16.00 to $656.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins – Silver Eagles Over 5 Million
Sales levels increased for seven of nine available United States Mint bullion coins. Bullion Silver Eagles surged the most, rising 525,000 on Tuesday to top 5 million in monthly sales for only the second time in the series 26-year history. The last occurrence was in January 2011 when Silver Eagles eventually reached the all-time monthly record of 6.422 million.
Second highest daily sales came from the one ounce bullion Gold Eagles. They rose 3,000 followed by increases each of 2,000 for the one-half ounce and one-quarter ounce sizes. Combined across all four sizes, United States Mint buyers have now ordered 90,000 ounces of Gold Eagles in January — the biggest monthly amount since August.
The latest daily, weekly, 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.)||3,000||64,500|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)||2,000||20,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)||2,000||32,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)||0||75,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||1,500||9,500|
|American Silver Eagles||525,000||5,122,000|
|Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins|
|Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||All-Time Total|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||500||0||84,600|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||0||2,000||36,300|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||0||500||27,400|
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 provide daily sales for its 5-ounce silver coins, and weekly changes are therefore reported. The latest 5-ounce figures are current as of Tuesday, January 17, 2012.