Gold rose slightly Wednesday as a stronger U.S. dollar trimmed demand for the yellow metal.
In other precious metals, silver, platinum and palladium each fell by more than 1% as U.S. stocks dived on anxiety over the looming "fiscal cliff" of scheduled tax increases and federal spending cuts.
Gold for December delivery slipped a dollar or less than one percent to $1,714.00 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold traded in a $30 range, from $1,703.00 to $1,733.00.
The seesaw effect in gold prices is "very much related to gold’s positive reaction to U.S. debt worries, with weakness from Europe sitting on the other side of the seesaw holding a very, very heavy key to the U.S. dollar," MarketWatch quoted Richard Hastings, a macro strategist at Global Hunter Securities.
"As Europe gets worse, the dollar gets stronger and heavier," so the seesaw tilts lower on the European crisis side, "waiting for a bigger load of troubles to load up the U.S. debt side — and don’t worry, it’s coming," Hastings said.
The U.S. dollar settled to a two-month high Wednesday. At the same time, stocks tumbled with the Dow down more than 300 points for its worst day of the year and the S&P and Nasdaq both off nearly 2.5%.
"We are seeing a risk-off day today," Donald Selkin, the New York-based chief market strategist at National Securities Corp., said in a telephone interview cited on Bloomberg. "There is a sell-off across the board."
Silver for December delivery settled at $31.661 an ounce, falling 37.3 cents or 1.2%. The white metal ranged from an intraday low of $31.215 to a high of $32.420.
Platinum for January delivery lost $18.80, or 1.2%, to $1,539.50 an ounce, trading between $1,534.50 and $1,569.90.
Palladium for December delivery dropped $9.80, or 1.6%, to $610.35 an ounce, ranging from $602.60 to $625.15.
London Precious Metals
Bullion prices in London were unchanged to higher. In contrasting the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold gained $24.25, or 1.4%, to $1,715.25 an ounce,
- Silver added 74.0 cents, or 2.4%, to $32.14 an ounce,
- Platinum advanced $13.00, or 0.8%, to $1,556.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium was unchanged at $617.00 an ounce
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales in November
Sales levels were nearly unchanged Wednesday for U.S. Mint bullion products. The single gainer was American Eagle silver coins with a pick-up of 50,000. On Monday the bullion coins advanced 800,000, or more than each of the past four weekly totals.
The grid below lists the latest daily, November and year-to-date bullion sales figures as provided by the U.S. Mint.
|US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Daily Sales||November Sales||YTD 2012|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Coin||0||18,500||483,000|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Coin||0||0||63,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Coin||0||0||66,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Coin||0||0||280,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins||0||0||107,500|
|American Eagle Silver Coins||50,000||1,050,000||29,998,000|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Daily Sales||November Sales||All-Time Total|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||1,250||19,350|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||1,250||19,450|
|2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||21,800|
|2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||15,000|
|2012 Denali National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||2,500||15,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||85,900|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||39,500|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||29,700|
In U.S. coin news, collectors on Thursday can pick-up the latest circulating coin set of 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters. The U.S. Mint will begin selling the 10-coin 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters Circulating Coin Set at noon ET for $5.95.