Precious metals market bulls are strong out of the gate to kick off the new trading month Monday.
Gold prices rebounded sharply from Friday losses to settle at a more than four-month high as safe-haven demand climbed along with rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
Gold for April delivery surged $28.70, or 2.2%, to close at $1,350.30 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price was the highest since gold finished at $1,352.20 an ounce on Oct. 28.
"The situation in the Ukraine is potentially one of the greatest geopolitical risks to challenge the [European Union] since the fall of the Cold War," MarketWatch quoted Mark O’Byrne, Dublin-based executive director at GoldCore, so "it should be acknowledged as at least a factor in today’s higher prices."
"It is arguable, that gold could have risen over 1.5% today even if events in Ukraine were not leading to a deterioration in relations between Russia and the West," he said. "This is because gold still has strong fundamentals which is leading to robust global demand — especially from China."
Gold prices on the day ranged from a low of $1,330.70 to a high of $1,355. Last week, the precious metal dipped 0.2% but it still gained 6.6% in February.
Silver for May delivery settled at $21.49 an ounce, rising 24 cents, or 1.2%, after tumbling 2.5% last week. Prices on Monday ranged from $21.26 to $21.74. Silver scored the strongest gain among precious metals last month, up 11.1%.
In PGM futures on Monday:
April platinum added $13.90, or 1%, to $1,460.70 an ounce, trading between $1,447.70 and $1,464.90.
- Palladium for June delivery climbed $5.55, or 0.8%, to $750 an ounce, ranging from $743.50 to $750.75.
In February, platinum gained 5.2% and palladium rallied 5.9%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals split with all but platinum higher. In contrasting the London fix prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
- Gold jumped $23, or 1.7%, to $1,349.50 an ounce,
- Silver advanced 19 cents, or 0.9%, to $21.46 an ounce,
- Platinum fell $1, or 0.1%, to $1,454 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $1, or 0.1%, to $747 an ounce
London bullion fix increases last month accumulated to 6% for gold, 10.2% for silver, 5.3% for platinum and 5.5% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in March
United States Mint bullion coins struck in 24-karat gold and 99.9% pure silver logged gains on Monday. The bureau’s Gold Buffalo coins rose by 1,500 and its Silver Eagles rose by 599,000. Year-to-date sales of Silver Eagles have crossed the 9.1 million mark, or more than the annual totals in 15 prior years going back to the series start in 1986.
Below is a sales breakdown across U.S. Mint bullion products with columns offering the number of bullion coins sold on Monday, last week, in February 2014 and for the year-to-date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Monday Sales||Sales Last Week||Sales Last Month||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||5,000||22,000||84,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,000||3,000||15,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||10,000||38,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||5,000||50,000||210,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||1,500||500||12,000||55,000|
|American Silver Eagles||599,000||1,250,000||3,750,000||9,124,000|