Gold, silver and other precious metals extended harsh losses that started in late-trading Wednesday when Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled a potential for the central bank to wind down its stimulus policies.
Silver and gold were hit hardest Thursday, falling to levels not seen in more than two and half years.
"The markets are definitely not prepared to wait until the tapering actually begins," Bloomberg quoted Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Copenhagen. "The combination of Fed tapering, a spike in nominal yields and a stronger dollar has put gold under some considerable pressure."
Gold for August delivery sank $87.80, or 6.4%, to finish at $1,286.20 an ounce on the Comex in New York. The settlement price was the lowest since September 2010. Trading volume was brisk with the precious metal touching as low as $1,280.80, well off its earlier session high of $1,351.20
"Comex gold and silver futures prices ended the U.S. day session sharply lower, hit 2.5-year lows and set new daily lows in late trading," said Jim Wyckoff, senior analyst at Kitco.com, in a note. "Fresh, serious technical damage was inflicted in the gold and silver markets Thursday, to suggest they will see still more selling pressure in the coming weeks."
Taking the biggest plunge in percentage and down for a fourth straight day, silver for July delivery tumbled $1.80, or 8.3%, to $19.82 an ounce — also its lowest closing since September 2010. Prices ranged from $19.64 to $21.28.
Losses in PGM’s were severe, but well off from the level of pain felt by gold and silver.
September platinum dropped $60.10, or 4.2%, to $1,363.80 an ounce, trading between $1,355.20 and $1,419.20.
Palladium for September delivery fell $31.30, or 4.5%, to $665.10 an ounce, ranging from $661.60 to $695.50.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fixings sank as well. In contrasting the Wednesday PM to Thursday PM London Fix prices:
- Gold declined $80.25, or 5.8%, to $1,292.50 an ounce,
- Silver dived $1.38, or 6.4%, to $20.24 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $46, or 3.2%, to $1,391 an ounce, and
- Palladium shed $36, or 5.1%, to $670 an ounce
US Bullion Coin Sales in June
Sales totals for U.S. Mint bullion coins were unchanged Thursday. The following are daily, June and year-to-date bullion coin totals as provided by the United States Mint.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Coin Sales|
|Thursday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||June Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||3,500||10,000||27,500||523,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||42,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||4,000||4,000||82,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||15,000||0||45,000||405,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,500||1,000||8,000||152,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,200||0||1,200||27,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||0||5,900||300||14,200||14,200|
|American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||0||846,000||740,000||2,368,000||24,136,500|
Figures above are in the number of coins sold, not in ounces.