Gold struggled early Wednesday but later rallied to a three-month high as safe-haven demand picked up and the U.S. dollar pulled back from its earlier peak.
Gold prices rose $12.80, or 0.7%, to $1,771.30 an ounce in the April futures contract on the Comex in New York. The settlement price was the best for gold since November 16. The metal touched an intraday low of $1,750.70 and reached a high of $1,776.30.
After surging 3.7% on Tuesday, silver prices for March delivery declined on Wednesday by 17.5 cents, or 0.5%, to $34.254 an ounce. The white metal bracketed a low of $33.90 and a high of $34.38.
Like gold, both platinum and palladium pushed solidly higher for a second straight day. Platinum prices for April delivery jumped $35.90, or 2.1%, to $1,720.80 an ounce, ranging from $1,689.00 to $1,727.80. The PGM metal is being supported by a strike at Rustenburg in South Africa, the location of the world’s biggest platinum mine.
"Because the unions are also in dispute among themselves, the strike looks set to continue for the time being, which should lend further support to the platinum price," analysts at Commerzbank wrote in a note, according to MarketWatch.
Palladium prices for March delivery advanced $7.00, or 1.0%, to $717.75 an ounce, trading between $708.25 and $721.85.
London Precious Metals
London precious metals climbed. When comparing the London PM fixings between Tuesday and Wednesday, gold edged up $4.00 to $1,752.00 an ounce, silver rose 43.0 cents to $34.08 an ounce, platinum added $25.00 to $1,698.00 an ounce and palladium gained $4.00 to $713.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
Bullion American Silver Eagles surged 300,000 on Wednesday following a gain of 115,000 on Tuesday. The 415,000 total so far this week is in sharp contrast to the coin’s worst weekly performance of the year last week when sales totaled just 125,000.
The U.S. Mint reported no other bullion coin gains as of 3:30 PM ET. The following U.S. Mint bullion coin figures show the latest daily, monthly and year-to-date sales.
|Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Daily Gains||Feb. Gains||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagles (1 oz.)||0||15,500||100,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/2 oz.)||0||0||49,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/4 oz.)||0||2,000||40,000|
|American Gold Eagles (1/10 oz.)||0||0||85,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||0||4,500||18,000|
|American Silver Eagles||300,000||1,250,000||7,357,000|
|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||0||0||37,300|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin||0||0||28,100|
All bullion coin totals in the above tables are in the number of coins sold, not the amount of ounces. The latest five-ounce sales were provided by the U.S. Mint on Friday, January 27, 2012. The Mint does not publish daily sales figures for its five-ounce silver coins. However, since the last released date is more than three weeks past, there likely has not been new sales to report.