Gold declined slightly Wednesday, extending losses to a second session after prices fell to a 3.5-month low during the previous one.
Gold for February delivery slipped $3.00, or 0.2%, to settle at $1,667.70 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The yellow metal traded from an intraday low of $1,664.20 to a high of $1,677.80. Gold plummeted $27.50 on Tuesday.
Near-term sentiment for gold has been "linked to optimism on U.S. fiscal cliff deal in recent days — along with improvement coming in relation to Greece’s debt situation in the past couple of days," MarketWatch quoted Jeffrey Wright, managing director at Global Hunter Securities.
Institutional profit-taking appears to be another factor "holding gold back from $1,700 as funds lock in gains before year-end," he said.
Silver was hardest hit for a second day. March silver declined 55.3 cents, or 1.8%, to $31.116 an ounce, ranging from $31.085 to $31.870.
Little changed, platinum for January delivery closed at $1,592.90 an ounce for a loss of 80.0 cents. Platinum traded between $1,588.10 and $1,602.90.
Sister metal palladium was an outlier in precious metals. March palladium advanced $7.40, or 1.1%, to $698.35 an ounce, ranging from $687.30 to $699.60.
London Bullion Prices
Metals retreated in London. Gold and silver dived. When comparing the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold dropped $29.00, or 1.7%, to $1,665.00 an ounce,
- Silver plunged $1.01, 3.1%, to $31.37 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $14.00, or 0.9%, to $1,597.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium dipped $2.00, or 0.3%, to $695.00 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
U.S. Mint sales advanced for gold bullion coins. 22-karat American Eagle gold coin gained 1,000 and 24-karat American Buffalo gold coins added 500.
Falling silver prices have often presented buying opportunities for the U.S. Mint’s most popular bullion product, the American Eagle silver coin. That did not happen with the Mint’s inventory of 2012-dated Silver Eagles sold out.
U.S. Mint bullion sales on the day, for the week-to-date, December and year-to-date follow.
|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||1,000||9,000||10,500||43,000||638,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||0||2,000||70,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||2,000||6,000||76,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Coins||0||0||0||0||315,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Coins||500||2,500||1,000||7,500||131,500|
|American Eagle Silver Coin||N/A*||500,000||232,000||1,635,000||33,742,500|
|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||0||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|
Coin sales figures shown above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight.