Gold rallied to a seven-week high Thursday as follow-through buying remained strong from soaring prices on Wednesday that resulted from the Fed’s decision to keep interest rates near zero through late 2014. The U.S. dollar has been pounded by the news which has also supported gold, opined analysts.
"At the moment everything points to even higher prices, given the strong risk appetite, the better mood among market players, the strong equity markets and the weak dollar," said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann, according to Reuters.
Gold prices tacked on $26.60, or 1.6%, to $1,726.60 an ounce in the February futures contract on the Comex in New York. The close was gold’s best since December 7 when it had settled at $1,744.80. Gold moved between an intraday low of $1,703.00 and a high of $1,731.50.
"A lot of people had thrown the towel on gold and you see it turn like this with a wicked vengeance," MarketWatch quoted Matt Zeman, head trader and strategist at Kingsview Financial. The Fed’s announcement "fuels more inflation fears down the road, not to mention the dollar is quite likely to suffer from this."
Silver prices for March delivery leapt 62.2 cents, or 1.9%, to $33.743 an ounce, bracketing a low of $32.975 and a high of $33.790.
While platinum was the best performing precious metal, palladium ranked at the bottom of the percentage gains. Platinum prices for April delivery settled up $37.20, or 2.4%, to $1,616.80 an ounce, trading between $1,579.10 and $1,625.00.
"Aside from the present from the Fed, the market appeared to be benefiting from the news that the labor action at Impala Platinum will result in higher-than-anticipated production losses in the noble metal," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals Inc.
Palladium prices for March delivery edged up $1.10, or 0.2%, to $694.45 an ounce, ranging from $688.40 to $702.00.
London Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals jumped as well. In comparing the London fixings on Thursday (PM) from those on Wednesday (PM), gold advanced $77.00 to $1,727.00 an ounce, silver gained $1.68 to $33.35 an ounce, platinum rose $69.00 to $1,615.00 an ounce and palladium climbed $23.00 to $698.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
American Silver Eagle bullion coins advanced 150,000 following two days of silence. The Silver Eagle is now 725,000 away from matching the all-time monthly record of 6.422 million from January 2011.
As for other U.S. Mint bullion coins, no additions were reported by the Mint on Thursday. 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||76,000|
|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||150,000||5,697,000|
|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|
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 publish daily sales figures for its five-ounce silver coins. The latest five-ounce sales were provided on Tuesday, January 17, 2012. Still, the very extended absence of reported sales likely indicates that none have been purchased since the 17th.