Gold, silver and other precious metals tumbled Wednesday as strength in the U.S. dollar curbed bullion’s appeal.
Gold and silver then extended losses when minutes from the last FOMC meeting showed debate about ending quantitative easing before hiring picks up.
Before the FOMC minutes, gold futures for April delivery declined $26.20, or 1.6%, to $1,578.00 an ounce on the Comex in New York. It was gold’s fifth straight down session and its lowest settlement price since July 24. The precious metal reached as low as $1,565.00 an ounce and traded as high as $1,609.20 an ounce.
"In the past, gold has reversed many times between $1,530 and $1,550," MarketWatch quoted Chintan Karnani, an independent bullion analyst based in New Delhi.
"For gold to be in a long-term bear trend, it needs a daily close below $1,520 for a week," he said. "The next one week is very crucial for gold prices. I am optimistic and do not expect gold prices to fall below $1,470 under the worst-case scenario."
In electronic trading after the FOMC minutes were released, gold retreated further to near $1,563.
"The implication is that they are planning to step back, and that is not good news for gold as easy money will not be available," Michael Gayed, the chief investment strategist at New York-based Pension Partners LLC, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg.
Silver for March delivery plummeted 80.0 cents, or 2.7%, to $28.622 an ounce. The precious metal ranged from $28.310 to $29.615. Silver fell toward $28.50 in after-hours trading.
Platinum and palladium were the only precious metals to rise Tuesday, but they sank the most Wednesday.
April platinum fell $50.40, or 3.0%, to $1,647.10 an ounce, trading between $1,636.10 and $1,699.00.
- Palladium for March delivery plunged $27.50, or 3.6%, to $736.40 an ounce, ranging from $728.50 to $766.30.
Precious Metals in London
London precious metals were lower as well. In contrasting the Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM London Fix prices:
- Gold lost $19.25, or 1.2%, to $1,588.50 an ounce,
- Silver declined 89.0 cents, or 3.0%, to $29.11 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $26.00, or 1.5%, to $1,659.00 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $9.00, or 1.2%, to $754.00 an ounce
US Bullion Coin Sales in February
Sales advanced Wednesday for the American Silver Eagle, the U.S. Mint’s most popular bullion product. The 99.9% fine silver coin gained 424,500 for a total so far this week of 879,000. That exceeds last week’s amount of 664,000.
U.S. Mint bullion sales by product type follow.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||Feb Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||7,000||3,500||41,500||166,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,000||2,000||4,000||21,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||4,000||8,000||32,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||10,000||35,000||65,000||175,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||4,500||7,500||80,000|
|American Eagle Silver Coins||424,500||664,000||879,000||2,522,500||10,020,500|
|America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coin Sales|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||Weekly Sales||Feb Sales||All-Time Sales|
|2012 El Yunque National Forest 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||100||1,600||2,100||24,000|
|2012 Chaco Culture National Historical Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||-400||1,200||1,800||21,800|
|2012 Acadia National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||25,400|
|2012 Hawai’i Volcanoes 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2012 Denali National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2011 Olympic National Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||104,900|
|2011 Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||2,000||0||2,200||45,700|
|2011 Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Bullion Silver Coins||0||2,000||3,800||3,740||39,400|
The Chaco Culture silver coin total declined 400 last Monday. Negative adjustments were previously made across the Chickasaw silver coin.
All bullion figures above are in the number of coins sold. Calculate total ounces by using the bullion coin’s weight.