Gold, silver and other precious metals advanced Wednesday after the Federal Reserve announced a new bond-buying program and said it would hold interest rates near zero until the U.S. unemployment rate drops to 6.5%. (Read the FOMC release.)
Gold for February delivery gained $8.30, or 0.5%, to $1,717.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Gold traded between $1,708.50 and $1,725.00.
"The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it decided to end its "Operation Twist" program but extend its long-bond-buying program to the tune of $45 billion a month… The new plan would expand the Fed’s balance sheet and be ostensibly the printing of greenbacks," noted Jim Wyckoff in the PM Kitco Metals Roundup.
As for binding interest rates to unemployment rates, Wyckoff adds that "some quick math on that matter suggests the Fed will not be raising interest rates for at least three more years," noting the developments "were bullish for the raw commodity markets."
Silver was the strongest performer in precious metals Wednesday. March silver closed at $33.782 an ounce, surging 76.5 cents or 2.3%. Silver traded between $32.995 and $33.875.
In other New York metal futures:
Platinum for January delivery edged up $6.40, or 0.4%, to $1,646.40 an ounce, ranging from $1,631.40 to $1,647.50.
March palladium added $4.35, or 0.6%, to $701.15 an ounce, trading between $693.20 and $702.00.
London Bullion Prices
Modest precious metals changes occured in London Wednesday as the Fed news came after the day’s fixings. In contrasting the most recent precious metals PM fixings:
- Gold added $6.25, or 0.4%, to $1,716.25 an ounce,
- Silver shed 7.0 cents, 0.2%, to $33.10 an ounce,
- Platinum gained $8.00, or 0.5%, to $1,639.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium climbed $2.00, or 0.3%, to $697.00 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
The single gainer Wednesday among U.S. Mint bullion products was a 4,000 increase for the American Eagle gold coin. A breakdown of the latest sales follows.
|US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||Dec Sales||YTD 2012|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins||4,000||24,500||6,500||31,000||625,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||2,000||0||2,000||70,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||4,000||0||4,000||74,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||0||0||315,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins||0||4,000||0||4,000||128,000|
|American Silver Eagle Coin||0||903,000||300,000||1,203,000||33,310,500|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||Dec Sales||All-Time Total|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||2,000||21,900|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||25,400|
|2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Denali National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||85,900|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||39,500|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||29,700|
Sales above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the weight of the coin.