Gold advanced 0.8% Thursday to extend its winning streak to three straight days and close at a fresh three-month high while silver prices soared 3.8% to settle well above $35 an ounce.
Gold prices gained $15.00 to $1,786.30 an ounce in the April futures contract on the Comex in New York. The settlement price was the highest for gold since November 11. Gold bracketed an intraday low of $1,773.30 and a high of $1,789.50.
"The key level on the upside (for gold) lies at the November highs at $1,801 and if we can push above here, then the record highs last year will come back into view, with the likelihood we could well see levels above $2,000 an ounce within the next 12 months," said Hewson, in e-mailed comments cited on MarketWatch.
A weaker U.S. dollar and higher oil prices were said to be bullish factors for the yellow metal on Thursday.
Silver prices for March delivery closed at $35.556 an ounce, rallying $1.302. Silver ranged from a low of $34.230 to a high of $35.610.
Platinum and palladium each advanced modestly at 0.1% following two straight days of sharp increases. Platinum prices for April delivery added $2.20 to $1,723.00 an ounce, trading between $1,716.00 and $1,736.50.
"After a near $400 rally since the December 29 lows, we think that platinum has already achieved the most it can. We’re reluctant to chase it materially higher from here," Edel Tully, a strategist at UBS, wrote in a note cited on Reuters.
"Yes, a stab at $1,800 is possible, particularly if the headlines over the next few days confirm rising violence and unrest at Rustenburg. But we’re concerned that the market has gotten quite long, and in a very short space of time."
The noble metal has been supported by a strike at Rustenburg in South Africa, the location of the world’s biggest platinum mine.
Palladium prices for March delivery rose 65.0 cent to $718.40 an ounce, trading between $713.20 and $725.85.
London Precious Metals
London precious metals were more even in their percentage increases than futures in New York. When comparing the London PM fixings between Wednesday and Thursday, gold rose $25.00, or 1.4%, to $1,777.00 an ounce, silver prices added 47.0 cents, or 1.4%, to $34.55 an ounce, platinum gained $31.00, or 1.8%, to $1,729.00 an ounce and palladium climbed $8.00, or 1.1%, to $721.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
The U.S. Mint on Thursday reported no sales increases for its bullion coins as of 3:54 PM ET. The following U.S. Mint bullion coin sales 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||0||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 sold. The Mint does not publish daily sales figures for its five-ounce silver coins. The latest five-ounce sales were provided by the U.S. Mint on Friday, January 27, 2012. However, since the last released date is more than three weeks past, there likely has not been new sales to report.