Gold Declines 0.8% on Dollar Strength, Silver Prices Fall 0.9%


Fine Gold BarsGold fell Tuesday from a six-week high and broke a two-session winning streak as a stronger U.S. dollar cut into precious metal demand. The greenback rose as the euro fell following the lack of expected progress in restructuring Greek debt.

"There is a refocus on the debt crisis in Europe. Gold will continue to trade in tandem with the euro in the near term, and the market is going to pay attention to the Fed’s guidance on future interest rates," said Frank McGhee, head precious metals trader of Integrated Brokerage Services LLC, according to Reuters.

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s monthly FOMC meeting begins Wednesday and ends on Thursday when it will release its latest monetary policy statement.

Gold prices declined $13.80, or 0.8%, to $1,664.50 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. Gold traded between a low of $1,661.00 and a high of $1,680.00. Gold ended at a six-week high Monday when it settled at $1,678.30 an ounce.

"The markets are taking a hit because everyone was expecting Greece to come up with a plan," Adam Klopfenstein, a market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview that was cited on Bloomberg. "People are largely in a ‘risk- off’ mode today."

Silver prices for March delivery fell 29.5 cents, or 0.9%, to $31.975 an ounce. Silver prices moved between an intraday low of $31.855 and a high of $32.470. 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 low Tuesday on a corrective pullback from recent gains that saw prices Monday hit a six-week high. Silver bulls still have the near-term technical advantage.

A four-week-old uptrend is still in place on the daily bar chart. Bulls’ next upside price breakout objective is closing prices above solid technical resistance at the December high of $33.74 an ounce.

The next downside price breakout objective for the bears is closing prices below major psychological support at $30.00. First resistance is seen at Tuesday’s high of $32.47 and then at Monday’s high of $32.775. Next support is seen at Monday’s low of $31.79 and then at $31.50. Wyckoff’s Market Rating: 6.0."

Platinum prices for April delivery dipped $8.70, or 0.6%, to $1,552.40 an ounce, ranging from $1,541.10 to $1,572.00. Palladium prices for March delivery stepped back $8.30, or 1.2%, to $680.55 an ounce, trading between $670.00 and $690.00.

London Precious Metals

Drops in New York metals futures followed earlier losses in London precious metals. When comparing the London fixings on Tuesday (PM) from those on Monday (PM), gold declined $10.00 to $1,665.50 an ounce, silver prices fell 50 cents to $31.95 an ounce, platinum retreated $4.00 to $1,541.00 an ounce and palladium lost $2.00 to $676.00 an ounce.

U.S. Mint Bullion Coins

U.S. Mint bullion coin levels remained unchanged Tuesday as of 4:41 PM ET. The latest daily and year-to-date 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.) 0 75,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.) 0 46,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.) 0 32,000
American Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.) 0 75,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 10,500
American Silver Eagle 0 5,547,000


Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins
Prior Weekly Weekly Gains All-Time Total
Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 0 0 84,600
Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 2,000 0 36,300
Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin 500 0 27,400
TOTAL 2,500 0 148,300


All bullion coin totals in the above tables are in the number of coins sold, not the amount of ounces. The U.S. Mint does not provide daily sales figures for its 5-ounce silver coins. The latest 5-ounce sales are current as of Tuesday, January 17, 2012.

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