Precious metals declined Thursday with gold falling 1.2% to close below $1,700 an ounce for the first time since Dec. 5 and silver diving 4.2% to settle under $33 an ounce for also the first time since Dec. 5.
On the Comex in New York, gold for February delivery lost $21.10 to end at $1,696.80 an ounce. Gold prices traded between $1,690.70 and $1,712.80.
"Once again, the gold market suffered a rapid and inexplicable price drop in early Asian trading Thursday, on reported sell stops being triggered. Sell stops are pre-placed market orders to sell if a certain price is hit," explains Jim Wyckoff in the PM Kitco Metals Roundup.
"That marks the third week in a row of such price declines that occur for seemingly no fundamental reason. Such moves are frustrating to the gold market bulls, and the silver bulls, too. The silver bulls were hit harder Thursday as it appears silver’s weakness began by following gold lower, but then heavier technical selling pressure set in for silver as the session wore on."
While silver was the best performing precious metal on Wednesday, it sank the most on Thursday. March silver settled at $32.355 an ounce, plunging $1.43 by the aforementioned 4.2%. Silver ranged from an intraday low of $32.28 to a high of $33.52.
In other New York bullion futures:
Platinum for January delivery declined $33.60, or 2.0%, to $1,612.80 an ounce, trading between $1,603.20 and $1,633.00.
March palladium shed $9.50, or 1.4%, to $691.65 an ounce, trading between $680.25 and $696.25.
London Bullion Prices
Precious metals in London were lower as well. In contrasting the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold declined $23.50, or 1.4%, to $1,692.75 an ounce,
- Silver fell 41.0 cents, 1.2%, to $32.69 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $32.00, or 2.0%, to $1,607.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $15.00, or 2.2%, to $682.00 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
Bullion sales on Thursday were limited to the U.S. Mint’s most popular coins. The one-ounce American Eagle gold coin climbed 1,500 and the American Eagle silver coin gained 200,000. A breakdown of the latest sales follows.
|US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Thursday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||Dec Sales||YTD 2012|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins||1,500||24,500||8,000||32,500||626,500|
|$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||200,000||903,000||500,000||1,403,000||33,510,500|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Thursday 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.