Gold futures pulled back from a three-week high Wednesday, ending down for the first time in three sessions.
Gold for February delivery shed $3.90, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,257.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The yellow metal traded between $1,252.10 and $1,263.20.
"Prices may find it hard to maintain yesterday’s momentum with Asian demand likely to taper off," Victor Thianpiriya, an analyst at Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd., was quoted by Bloomberg News. "Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down to next week’s FOMC meeting, and the question of whether or not tapering will begin remains."
Gold prices rallied 2.6% over the prior two sessions with Tuesday’s $26.90 gain the biggest since Oct. 7.
Silver for March delivery advanced 4.1 cents, or 0.2%, to close at $20.36 an ounce. Prices ranged from $20.21 to $20.48. The precious metal has advanced 4.3% since it last settled lower on Friday.
In PGM futures, palladium rose for a second day but platinum snapped its two-day winning streak. In prices on Wednesday:
January platinum dipped $3.50, or 0.3%, to $1,385.20 an ounce, trading between $1,381.10 and $1,391.70.
- Palladium for March delivery edged up 10 cents to $738.55 an ounce, ranging from $736.75 to $742.35.
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion fixings split with silver higher and other precious metals lower. In comparing the Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM London fix prices:
- Gold fell $5.50, or 0.4%, to $1,260.75 an ounce,
- Silver tacked on 34 cents, or 1.7%, to $20.39 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $5, or 0.4%, to $1,388 an ounce, and
- Palladium shed $1, or 0.1%, to $742 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Sales in December
United States Mint authorized dealers scooped up gold and silver bullion coins. In combined sales Wednesday, gold coins increased by 3,500 ounces and silver coins advanced by 243,500 ounces. In the notable column, all the Mint’s America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins have now sold out after the day’s gains of:
- 2,900 in 2013 Perry’s Victory 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins
- 1,400 in 2013 Great Basin 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins
This year’s other five ounce bullion coins sold out earlier. The Mint has not published specific dates for when it will begin offering any of the five 2014-dated America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. The first one will honor and depict Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. It is likely to launch on the same day as the Great Smoky Mountains quarter which is expected out on Jan. 27, 2014.
U.S. Mint bullion sales for the week so far, for the month through Dec. 11, and the year-to-date are listed below.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||December Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||3,500||19,000||6,000||25,000||715,000|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||0||0||58,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||4,000||4,000||122,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||15,000||0||15,000||535,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,500||3,000||4,500||236,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||2,900||0||2,900||2,900||30,000|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||1,400||0||1,400||1,400||30,000|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||30,000|
|Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||222,000||400,000||748,000||1,148,000||42,623,000|