Gold, Silver Up Before Fed’s Taper Decision, Choppy After


Silver bars, three side-by-side

Gold and silver futures closed higher Wednesday, and then turned choppy in electronic trading after the Federal Reserve announced that it was trimming its monthly bond purchases to $75 billion from $85 billion.

In thin volume pre-Fed announcement, gold for February delivery traded up $4.90, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,235 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Post announcement, the precious metal turned volatile with prices swinging through loses to gains and back again. Gold in electronic trading on Globex was last at $1,220.30 an ounce.

"The precious metal has traded in a narrow trading range for most of the day until we had the results from the Fed, which has brought huge volatility for the metal," MarketWatch quoted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at AvaTrade.

It was the same for silver with futures for March delivery closing at $20.06 an ounce, up 21.9 cents, or 1.1%. Later trade on Globex had silver prices down to $19.78 an ounce.

In PGM future prices on Wednesday:

  • January platinum fell $1.90, or 0.1%, to $1,342.70 an ounce, extending its losing streak to six sessions. Platinum prices ranged from $1,330.30 to $1,355.50.

  • Lower for a second day, palladium for March delivery shed $1.60, or 0.2%, to $699.45 an ounce. Palladium traded between $698.10 and $710.50.

London Fix Precious Metals

London precious metals fixings were mostly lower. In contrasting the Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM London fix prices:

  • Gold dipped $1.25, or 0.1%, to $1,230.50 an ounce,
  • Silver declined 8 cents, or 0.4%, to $19.94 an ounce,
  • Platinum was flat at $1,354 an ounce, and
  • Palladium fell $4, or 0.6%, to $709 an ounce

US Mint Bullion Sales in December

Sales totals for United States Mint bullion coins were unchanged for a third straight day, based on figures from the bureau’s website. Listed below are U.S. Mint bullion sales for the month through Dec. 18 and the year-to-date.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Wednesday / Week-To-Date Sales Last Week December Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 11,000 30,000 720,000
$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 0 0 58,000
$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 4,000 4,000 122,000
$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 0 0 15,000 535,000
$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins 0 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 2,900 2,900 30,000
Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins* 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 0 800,000 1,200,000 42,675,000


*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.

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