Gold Tumbles Below $1,200; Lowest Close in Over 3 Years


Stacks of gold bars and coins

Gold and silver closed higher Wednesday, then turned volatile and lower in after-hours trading following the Fed’s tapering news. Their descent accelerated Thursday.

Gold for February delivery tumbled $41.40, or 3.4%, to close at $1,193.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices last settled below $1,200 an ounce in the summer of 2010.

"With the FOMC meeting over and its results mostly digested it appears, at least for the near term, the winners are the U.S. stock market and the U.S. dollar. The loser is the gold market," said Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Inc, in a daily note.

"While investors, traders and market watchers had pretty much factored into most markets’ prices Wednesday’s FOMC news, the surprise to many was that the stock market rallied sharply."

Silver led percentage losses among precious metals. Silver for March delivery ended at $19.19 an ounce, plummeting 87.3 cents, or 4.4%. It traded from a low of $19.10 to a high of $19.91.

In rounding out the precious metals complex:

  • January platinum declined $24.30, or 1.8%, to $1,318.40 an ounce, extending its losing streak to seven sessions. Platinum prices ranged from $1,311.70 to $1,339.

  • Lower for a third straight day, palladium for March delivery dipped $3.15, or 0.5%, to $696.30 an ounce. Palladium traded between $695.10 and $703.45.

London Fix Precious Metals

London precious metals fixings declined as well. In contrasting the Wednesday PM to Thursday PM London fix prices:

  • Gold fell $34.50, or 2.8%, to $1,196 an ounce,
  • Silver plunged 60 cents, or 3%, to $19.34 an ounce,
  • Platinum dropped $33, or 2.4%, to $1,321 an ounce, and
  • Palladium declined $9, or 1.3%, to $700 an ounce

US Mint Bullion Sales in December

United States Mint distributors ordered 3,000 one-ounce American Gold Eagles. That marks the first increase in U.S. Mint bullion sales this week.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Thursday / Week-To-Date Sales Last Week December Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins 3,000 11,000 33,000 723,000
$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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