Gold futures traded lower for a second straight session Thursday and silver prices snapped a three-day winning streak.
Gold for February delivery declined $32.30, or 2.6%, to close at $1,224.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices traded from a low of $1,222.60 to a high of $1,256.50. The precious metal was pressured, opined analysts, on a stronger U.S. dollar and on higher expectations of early stimulus reduction.
"Technical selling pressure re-emerged due to a lack of fresh, bullish fundamental news. The higher U.S. dollar index Thursday was also a bearish ‘outside market’ factor for the precious metals markets," said Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Inc, in a daily note.
"Selling interest in gold Thursday was also partly attributed to the U.S. budget deal reached between congressional Democrats and Republicans this week… Remember that the last budget impasse and U.S. government shutdown played a part in the Fed holding off on a tapering move."
Gold prices dipped 0.3% on Wednesday after rallying 2.6% over the prior two sessions.
Silver for March delivery tumbled 90.3 cents, or 4.4%, to settle at $19.45 an ounce. Prices ranged from $19.41 to $20.35. Silver prices surged 4.3% over the past three sessions.
In PGM futures, palladium declined for the first time since Monday while platinum settled lower for a second straight session. In prices on Thursday:
January platinum lost $20.80, or 1.5%, to $1,364.40 an ounce, trading between $1,359 and $1,387.70.
- Palladium for March delivery fell $18.30, or 2.5%, to $720.25 an ounce, ranging from $714.40 to $738.30.
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion fixings sank as well. In comparing the Wednesday PM to Thursday PM London fix prices:
- Gold fell $35.50, or 2.8%, to $1,225.25 an ounce,
- Silver declined 59 cents, or 2.9%, to $19.80 an ounce,
- Platinum shed $17, or 1.2%, to $1,371 an ounce, and
- Palladium lost $13, or 1.8%, to $729 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Sales in December
United States Mint authorized dealers ordered one-ounce bullion coins on Thursday. Sales of the $50 Gold Eagle jumped 5,000; the $50 Gold Buffalo added 1,000; and the $1 Silver Eagle advanced 25,000.
U.S. Mint bullion sales for the week so far, for the month through Dec. 12, and the year-to-date are listed below.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Thursday Sales||Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||December Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||5,000||19,000||11,000||30,000||720,000|
|$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||1,000||1,500||4,000||5,500||237,500|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||Sold Out||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||2,900||2,900||30,000|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins*||0||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||25,000||400,000||773,000||1,173,000||42,648,000|
*Perry’s Victory and Great Basin silver bullion coins sold out on Tuesday, Dec. 10. The U.S. Mint will not have America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins to sell until the first 2014-dated strike is released in late January.