Gold prices fell for the third session Monday as Fed policy matters remain in the spotlight.
Gold for February delivery dipped $2.60, or 0.2%, to $1,646.30 an ounce on the Comex in New York. Prices ranged through intraday levels of $1,642.60 and $1,663.00.
On Jan. 3, Fed notes revealed QE3 could end this year, and that continues to weigh on precious metals markets according to analysts.
"The market is lackluster since people want some clarity from the Fed," Bloomberg quoted Adam Klopfenstein, a senior market strategist at Archer Financial Services Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview.
Gold’s biggest drop in the last three sessions occurred Friday as prices fell $25.70 to cement a sixth straight weekly decline.
Some analysts suggest that gold could rise sharply if U.S. economic data remains sours since that would encourage the Fed to continue its stimulus measures, Reuters relays and published the following quote from TD Bank strategists:
"It’s difficult to make assumptions … whether the FOMC minutes represent a material change of monetary policy from the Fed, and we are well aware that an off-the-cuff remark by Fed Chairman Bernanke could reverse the markets in an instant."
In other New York futures prices on Monday:
March silver settled at $30.082 an ounce, advancing 13.6 cents, or 0.5%. Silver prices traded between $29.860 and $30.475. The white metal snapped a two-session losing streak.
Platinum for April delivery slipped $2.20, or 0.1%, to $1,556.30 an ounce, ranging from $1,551.00 to $1,571.30.
- March palladium closed at $670.00 an ounce, plunging $18.50, or 2.7%. Palladium traded between $663.20 and $692.55.
Last week, platinum rallied 2.4%, silver was down 0.1% and palladium declined 7.2%.
Precious Metals in London
Aside from silver, London precious metals declined Monday. In contrasting the latest London PM fixings:
- Gold declined $2.75, or 0.2%, to $1,645.25 an ounce,
- Silver added 82.0 cents, or 2.8%, to $30.14 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $6.00, or 0.4%, to $1,551.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium shed $13.50, or 2.0%, to $675.50 an ounce
London precious metals losses last week were 0.6% for gold, 2.8% for silver and 2.1% for palladium. Platinum climbed 2.0%.
Sales of US Mint Bullion Coins
For the first time this year, sales advanced across every type of United States Mint bullion product.
Pent-up demand drove first day sales of the 2013-dated American Eagle silver bullion coins. The inventory of last year’s 99.9% fine silver coins sold out on Dec. 17, 2012. That meant U.S. Mint distributors had to wait three weeks to re-fill their inventories since the Mint said it would only begin taking orders for the new issues today, Jan. 7, 2013. As a result, opening day sales shot up to 3,937,000. The tally already surpasses every monthly total in 2012 except for January when sales hit 6,107,000.
Sales levels for other U.S. Mint bullion products are below.
|Sales of US Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coins|
|Monday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||2013 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||4,000||59,500||4,000||57,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||1,000||9,000||1,000||10,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||2,000||12,000||2,000||14,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||10,000||50,000||10,000||60,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||10,500||14,500||10,500||25,000|
|American Eagle Silver Coin*||3,937,000||N/A||3,937,000||3,937,000|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Monday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||All-Time Sales|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||21,900|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||25,400|
|2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Denali National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||20,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||5,500||0||5,500||91,400|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||1,500||0||1,500||41,000|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||1,500||0||1,500||31,200|
Coin sales figures shown above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight.