Gold and silver prices turned higher Thursday for the first time this week with stronger physical demand providing support.
Gold for February delivery closed at $1,229.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, rising $3.90, or 0.3%. Gold traded in a narrow range, from a low of $1,222.80 to a high of $1,230.90.
"Demand for gold coins and bars was very strong last year on account of the falling prices, a trend which appears to be continuing at the start of the year," Commerzbank AG analysts including Frankfurt-based Daniel Briesemann said in a report.
Gold prices through the three prior sessions had dropped a total of 1.1%.
In percentage, silver logged the biggest gain among precious metals after it plunged 3.3% in the three previous sessions. On Thursday, silver for March delivery tacked on 14 cents, or 0.7%, to settle at $19.68 an ounce. Prices ranged from $19.38 to $19.71.
In PGM’s on Thursday:
Reversing from a two-day losing streak, April platinum added $5.70, or 0.4%, to $1,419.90 an ounce. It traded between $1,412.60 and $1,427.60.
- Lower for a second day after having advanced for five straight, palladium for March delivery dipped $1.80, or 0.2%, to $736.50 an ounce. Prices ranged from $735.30 to $741.45.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fixings rose slightly. In contrasting the London fix prices from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:
- Gold added $5, or 0.4%, to $1,226 an ounce,
- Silver inched up 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $19.54 an ounce,
- Platinum gained $10, or 0.7%, to $1,415 an ounce, and
- Palladium turned up $1, or 0.1%, to $736 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Sales in January
On Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, the United States Mint began selling its 2014-dated gold bullion coins. Through Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, one-week sales of the coins totaled 78,000 ounces with splits of:
- 54,500 ounces of 2014 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins and
- 23,500 ounces of 2014 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins
Gold Eagle sales through all of December totaled 56,000 ounces while Gold Buffalo sales reached just 7,000 ounces.
The overall sales pace for the year so far is a bit slower than last year through the same time frame when the U.S. Mint logged total gold coin sales of 86,500 ounces. Then, splits were 72,000 ounces in Gold Eagles and 14,500 ounces in Gold Buffalo coins.
The first 2014-dated silver bullion coins, the American Silver Eagles, will not be available until Jan. 13, 2014.