Gold edged about $3 lower Monday as prices consolidated when failing to attain $1,600 an ounce and after two prior sessions in which the yellow metal rebounded by more than $55.
"Gold had a really nice rally following a very steep drop, so we might get some consolidation from here as the market prepares to take on $1,600," Bloomberg quoted Feng Liang, an analyst at GF Futures Co., a unit of China’s second-largest listed brokerage.
Gold prices for June delivery settled down $3.20, or 0.2%, to $1,588.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices traded between an intraday low of $1,584.50 and a high of $1,599.00.
"During the overnight hours gold managed to touch the psychological $1,600 mark in the wake of pro-growth remarks coming from Chinese Premier Wen. Despite the Chinese leader’s overt concern about a too-sharp slowing in the country’ s economy, the reality is that the real estate sector still contributes 13% or more to the GDP and is thus still the pivotal factor in whether or not China experiences a hard landing in months to come," noted Jon Nadler, Senior Metals Analyst at Kitco Metals.
"At the end of the day, once again, the gold market is exhibiting its dire addiction to stimulus and more stimulus no matter what country might be contemplating it. The dependence on easy money as fuel for rallies to the upside remains the defining character of this market. Hedge funds have reduced their exposure to commodities overall by 15% in the latest reporting period, with exposure to gold taking the biggest hit and resulting in what Bloomberg News this morning called a ‘flight from gold’ by investors."
Last week gold prices settled 0.5% higher, snapping a two-week losing streak.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures Prices
In other precious metals closings on Monday:
Silver prices for July delivery declined 39.4 cents, or 1.4%, to $28.321 an ounce. Silver’s intraday low and high levels were $28.035 and $28.855.
Platinum prices for July delivery advanced $2.20, or 0.2%, to $1,461.50 an ounce, trading between $1,455.50 and $1,473.20.
- Palladium prices for June delivery gained $7.20, or 1.2%, to $610.80 an ounce, ranging from $600.80 to $619.50.
Last week, silver dipped 0.6% and platinum shed 0.8% while palladium advanced less than 0.1%.
London Precious Metal
London precious metals were mostly (modestly) higher Monday. Silver was the exception. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold added $3.00, or 0.2%, to $1,592.50 an ounce,
- Silver fell 9.0 cents, or 0.3%, at $28.39 an ounce,
- Platinum gained $2.00, or 0.1%, to $1,458.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium advanced $6.00, or 1.0%, at $611.00 an ounce
Last week, London gold added 0.4% on the week while palladium was unchanged. Silver lost 0.3% and platinum fell 0.7%.
U.S. Mint Bullion Sales
In a rarity of rarities, each of the U.S. Mint’s American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins advanced on Monday.
U.S. Mint distributors ordered 5,500 ounces of American Gold Eagles with each of the one-half ounce and one-fourth ounce sizes advancing for the first time this month. The American Gold Eagle sales total for May stands at 42,000 ounces, or more than double the 20,000 ounces sold in all of April
After gaining just 1,500 through the first half of the month, American Buffalo Gold bullion coins have shot up 5,500 more since, helped by an increase of 1,500 on Monday.
And now up in five of the last six days, American Eagle Silver bullion coins added 477,500 on Monday to lift May sales over the 2 million mark for a third time this year. Demand for Silver Eagles has risen sharply in recent days. Until last week, the coins had a very weak monthly total of just 510,000.
The following are the available daily, weekly, 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 Eagle Gold Bullion Coins (1 oz.)||3,500||39,000||220,000|
|American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins (1/2 oz.)||2,000||2,000||53,000|
|American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins (1/4 oz.)||2,000||2,000||44,000|
|American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins (1/10 oz.)||10,000||15,000||150,000|
|American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)||1,500||7,000||62,500|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||477,500||2,017,500||13,676,500|
|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 bullion coin sales 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.