Gold and silver closed lower for a second straight session on Wednesday. Losses were modest as there was little news to drive prices strongly in any direction.
Gold for February delivery slipped $3.20, or 0.3%, to finish at $1,238.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In thin trading volume, gold ranged from $1,237.40 to $1,243.50.
Offering some pressure, Morgan Stanley did cut its gold expectations for the next two years.
"In our view, gold price performance will continue to suffer as long as risk assets in general and U.S. equities in particular continue to perform strongly, undermining the need for portfolio managers to hold more than a modicum of safe haven assets," the Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note Wednesday, according to MarketWatch.
The company forecasts a gold average of $1,160 an ounce in 2014 and an average of $1,138 an ounce in 2015. The totals are down about 12% from its prior forecast. The same MarketWatch article notes that seasonal demand for gold, in relation to the Chinese Lunar New Year, "has been good."
Down for the fifth time in six sessions, silver for March delivery shed 3 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $19.84 an ounce. Silver prices traded from a low of $19.77 to a high of $19.94.
In PGM futures on Wednesday:
April platinum added $8.90, or 0.6%, to $1,462.40 an ounce, ranging from $1,447.80 to $1,465.90.
- Palladium for March delivery inched up 80 cents, or 0.1%, to $748.85 an ounce, trading between $743.25 and $749.65.
London Fix Precious Metals
London precious metals fixings split with silver tilted lower while gold and PGMs gained. In contrasting the London fix prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:
- Gold added $3, or 0.2%, to $1,241 an ounce,
- Silver fell 16 cents, or 0.8%, to $19.87 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $14, or 1%, to $1,458 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $4, or 0.5%, to $747 an ounce
US Mint Bullion Sales in January
Sales advanced Wednesday for the U.S. Mint’s most popular bullion products, the one-ounce American Eagle gold and silver coins. $50 Gold Eagles gained 5,000 and $1 Silver Eagles added 25,000.
Few Silver Eagles remain for this week with 505,000 now taken since Friday. The Mint said that this week’s allocation would run about 500,000 – 600,000 coins. There was also 111,000 remaining from last week’s allocation.
The following table lists bullion sales for the day, for the week so far and for the month/year through Jan. 22.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday Sales||Week-To-Date Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||5,000||5,000||61,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||12,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||28,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||150,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||39,500|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||25,000||505,000||3,969,000|