Gold prices ended lower for a second consecutive session Tuesday as the U.S. dollar firmed against other world currencies. Also, competition emerged in the form of rising U.S. stocks with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq logging gains for the first time this year.
Gold for February delivery declined $8.40, or 0.7%, to finish at $1,229.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The precious metal traded from $1,224.20 to $1,244.70. Gold prices edged 60 cents lower in the prior session.
"The main drop in gold occurred in the hour after U.S. trade numbers came out and [the U.S. dollar] rallied, so it looks like today’s weakness in gold is mainly related to the strengthening [dollar]," MarketWatch quoted Colin Cieszynski, senior market analyst at CMC Markets.
Like gold, silver prices also settled down for a second day. Silver for March delivery lost 32 cents, or 1.6%, to $19.79 an ounce, ranging from $19.63 to $20.28. It fell by 0.5% on Monday.
PGMs split for the first time this year with platinum easing while palladium extended its winning streak to five sessions.
April platinum dipped $1, or less than 0.1%, to $1,415.40 an ounce, trading between $1,407.30 and $1,421.30.
- Palladium for March delivery added $3.20, or 0.4%, to $741.70 an ounce, ranging from $733.50 to $744.75.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fixings divided with gold and silver lower and platinum and palladium higher. In contrasting the London fix prices from Monday PM to Tuesday PM:
- Gold prices fell $18.75, or 1.5%, to $1,227.50 an ounce,
- Silver declined 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $20.02 an ounce,
- Platinum added $5, or 0.4%, to $1,414 an ounce, and
- Palladium rose $4, or 0.5%, to $737 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Sales
There have not been U.S. Mint bullion sales to report for more than a week, although orders for gold coins have been taken. The bureau on Jan. 2 began selling its 2014 American Eagle gold coins and 2014 American Buffalo gold coins. The Mint is yet to publish their starting sales, which are expected to be strong. Below is a snapshot on how bullion coins performed in December and in 2013.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|December Sales||2013 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||53,500||743,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||58,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||4,000||122,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||15,000||535,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||7,000||239,000|
|White Mountain 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||4,300||35,000|
|Perry’s Victory 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||30,000|
|Great Basin 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||30,000|
|Fort McHenry 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||30,000|
|Mount Rushmore 5 oz. Silver Bullion Coins||35,000|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||1,200,000||42,675,000|
The first 2014-dated silver bullion coins, the American Silver Eagles, will not be available until Jan. 13, 2014.