Gold on Wednesday fell for a fourth straight session and to its lowest price in ten months as investors fled stocks and commodities to the perceived safety of the U.S. dollar.
"In general money is leaving commodities and equities and going to cash," MarketWatch quoted Michael K. Smith, with T&K Futures in Florida. The troubles in Greece have "washed out" a lot of investors that held hopes for a higher gold, he said.
Gold prices for June delivery declined $20.50, or 1.3%, to $1,536.60 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold bracketed an intraday low of $1,526.70 and a high of $1,552.20.
"It’s difficult to see a turnaround just yet. There will be one, but I don’t think this is the time, just when we are in the eye of the storm," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said, according to Reuters.
"Clearly, with people staring into the abyss, it could (fall) $50 or even $100 lower as it washes out. That is the unpredictability of it all and as equities fall, as the Greeks take money out of the banks and the banking sector collapses, I suppose you’d have to be wary of further price falls just to cover for losses in other markets."
In other metal futures prices on Monday:
Silver prices for July delivery plunged 88.4 cents, or 3.1%, to $27.196 an ounce, ranging from $26.730 and $27.965.
Platinum prices for July delivery fell $14.30, or 1.0%, to $1,432.20 an ounce, trading between $1,422.60 and $1,443.40.
- Palladium prices for June delivery lost $7.00, or 1.2%, to $594.10 an ounce, ranging from $587.20 to $601.05.
London Precious Metal
London precious metals registered across the board losses as well. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold shed $8.00, or 0.5%, to $1,548.50 an ounce,
- Silver declined $1.03, or 3.6%, at $27.25 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $22.00, or 1.5%, to $1,427.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium lost $12.00, or 2.0%, at $590.00 an ounce
U.S. Mint Bullion Coins
Demand has improved greatly for U.S. Mint bullion coins compared to early May when precious metals were higher.
Most noticeable on the sales boards in recent days are gains for the Silver Eagle. Buyers scooped up 275,000 on Wednesday, lifting its year-to-date total to above 13 million. As for the month of May, there are two stories — gains up through last week and those of this week. At the end of last week, Silver Eagle sales for May totaled 510,000. Another 900,000 have been added just in the first three days of this week for a new May total of 1.41 million.
The following are the available daily, May and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as reported by the U.S. Mint.
|U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Daily Gains||May Gains||YTD 2012|
|American Gold Eagle Coins (1 oz.)||1,500||35,500||216,500|
|American Gold Eagle Coins (1/2 oz.)||0||0||51,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coins (1/4 oz.)||0||0||42,000|
|American Gold Eagle Coins (1/10 oz.)||0||5,000||140,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||4,000||5,500||61,000|
|American Silver Eagle Coins||275,000||1,410,000||13,069,000|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Prior Weekly||Weekly Gains||All-Time Total|
|Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||0||85,100|
|Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||0||38,300|
|Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coins||0||0||28,900|
All coin sales figures in the above tables are in number of coins, not in the amount of ounces sold. The U.S. Mint last updated five ounce bullion silver coins sold on Monday, April 9, indicating none have sold since.