Gold Prices Slide 6% in May as Silver Declines 10.5%, US Coins Flat on Day


Fine Gold Bars Investors fled from commodities in May as precious metals were pounded lower to the tune of 6.0% for gold, 10.5% for silver, 9.8% for platinum and 10.0% for palladium.

Gold during most of the month failed to elicit safe-haven buying despite debt turmoil across the euro zone. Instead, the yellow metal tended to move in tandem with equities as the Dow and Nasdaq logged their worst monthly performance in two years.

"Investors don’t have the same strategic approach to gold as before," Edel Tully, an analyst at UBS AG, said in a report today that was cited on Bloomberg. "Much of the exposure to gold has been on an intra-day bias of late. The market is too highly correlated with risk for many participants’ liking."

On Thursday, gold prices for August delivery retreated $1.50, or 0.1%, to close at $1,564.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Intraday gold prices ranged from a low of $1,553.00 to a high of $1,574.60.

In dollar terms, gold lost $100.00 in May and increased its streak of monthly losses to four.

In other precious metals settlements on Thursday:

  • Silver prices for July delivery declined 22.6 cents, or 0.8%, to $27.757 an ounce. Silver traded between $27.510 and $28.190. Silver registered its third straight monthly loss which is its longest slump since 2008, according to Bloomberg.

  • Platinum prices for July delivery advanced $16.40, or 1.2%, to $1,417.60 an ounce, ranging from $1,393.20 to $1,419.50.

  • Palladium prices for September delivery added $7.40, or 1.2%, to $613.90 an ounce, moving between $602.10 and $615.60.

London Precious Metal

London precious metals were mixed as platinum declined while the others advanced. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:

  • Gold prices gained $18.00, or 1.2%, to $1,558.00 an ounce,
  • Silver added 42.0 cents, or 1.5%, to $28.10 an ounce,
  • Platinum fell $5.00, or 0.4%, to $1,405.00 an ounce, and
  • Palladium tacked on $10.00, or 1.7%, to $611.00 an ounce

May losses were 5.6% for gold, 9.9% for silver, 10.5% for platinum and 10.0% for palladium.

U.S. Mint Bullion Sales

Sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins were unchanged Thursday for a second straight day. The following are the daily, May and year-to-date bullion coin sales totals as provided by the U.S. Mint. Finalized monthly figures will be available Friday.

U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales
  Daily Gains May Gains YTD 2012
American Eagle Gold Coins (1 oz.) 0 46,000 227,000
American Eagle Gold Coins (1/2 oz.) 0 3,000 54,000
American Eagle Gold Coins (1/4 oz.) 0 4,000 46,000
American Eagle Gold Coins (1/10 oz.) 0 15,000 150,000
American Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.) 0 8,500 64,000
American Eagle Silver Coins 0 2,352,500 14,409,000


Sales of Bullion America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Coins
  Prior Weekly Weekly Gains All-Time Total
2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coins 0 100 85,200
2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coins 0 100 38,400
2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coins 0 0 28,900
TOTAL 0 200 152,500


All bullion coin sales in the above tables are in number of coins, not in the amount of ounces sold. The last time the U.S. Mint updated the 5 ounce silver coin totals was Tuesday, May 29. Starting sales of the first 2012-dated issue should be available in early June.

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