Gold futures dropped to a four-month low Thursday, extending a streak of losses to three sessions.
Gold for February delivery declined $21.80, or 1.3%, to $1,645.90 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The settlement price was the lowest since August 22 when gold ended at $1,640.50 an ounce. The precious metal traded from an intraday low of $1,636.00 to a high of $1,672.80.
Better-than-expected U.S. economic news was cited for pressuring commodities. U.S. third-quarter GDP growth was revised upward to 3.1% from a previous estimate of 2.7%, the Commerce Depart said Thursday. The figure is more than twice the 1.3% growth rate in the previous April-June quarter.
"The GDP number was better than forecast, so the thinking is that improving conditions in the economy might mean a light at the end of the tunnel on when the Fed will end QE3," Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago, said in a telephone interview relayed on Bloomberg.
Silver again led declines in precious metals. March silver plummeted $1.438, or 4.6%, to $29.678 an ounce. Like gold, the closing price for silver was the weakest since August 22. Silver prices ranged between $29.635 and $31.275.
In other precious metals, Platinum for January delivery settled at $1,546.20 an ounce, falling $46.70, or 2.9%. It traded from $1,542.00 to $1,595.50. March palladium lost $18.10, or 2.6%, to $680.25 an ounce, ranging between $672.00 and $696.50.
London Bullion Prices
Precious metals in London fell across the board for a second consecutive day. In contrasting the most recent London PM fixings:
- Gold declined $14.50, or 0.9%, to $1,650.50 an ounce,
- Silver shed 25.0 cents, or 0.8%, to $31.12 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $22.00, or 1.4%, to $1,575.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium fell $10.00, or 1.4%, to $685.00 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
U.S. Mint sales rose sharply for 22-karat American Eagle gold coins. The one-ounce size jumped 17,500. Its week-to-date total is 28,000, which is more than three times the 9,000 sold during all of last week. Sales also advanced 1,000 for the half-ounce Gold Eagle and 500 for the 24-karat American Buffalo gold coin.
Declining silver prices have also presented buying opportunities for the U.S. Mint’s most popular bullion product, the American Eagle silver coin. That did not materialize Thursday since the Mint’s inventory of 2012-dated Silver Eagles sold out. The U.S. Mint said it will not sell any 2013-dated Silver Eagles until January 7, 2013.
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|
|Thursday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date||Dec Sales||YTD 2012|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Coins||17,500||9,000||28,000||61,500||655,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Coins||1,000||0||1,000||3,000||71,000|
|$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||1,500||8,000||132,000|
|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|
|Thursday 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.