Gold kicked off the holiday-shortened week with a down note, ending lower on a session for the first time since Tuesday, Dec. 16.
Gold for February delivery fell $16.20, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,179.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Falling oil prices and strength in the U.S. dollar continue to pressure prices.
"The tumble in oil prices is detrimental to gold’s health," Bloomberg News quoted David Meger, the director of metal trading at Vision Financial Markets in Chicago. "Of course, the dollar and expectations of strong GDP continue to weigh on gold."
Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,172.60 to a high of $1,203.60. Gold declined 2.2% last week despite three-straight days of gains.
Also closing lower for the first time in four sessions, silver for March delivery tumbled 34 cents, or 2.1%, to $15.69 an ounce. Silver traded between $15.53 and $16.18. The white metal plummeted last week by 6%.
In PGM futures on Monday:
January platinum lost $14.90, or 1.2%, to $1,182.10 an ounce, trading between $1,175.60 and $1,203.10.
- Palladium for March delivery gained $10.15, or 1.3%, to $815.25 an ounce, ranging from $803.65 to $817.25.
Last week, platinum declined 2.8% and palladium fell 1.4%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier London precious metals fixings were also mixed. When comparing London bullion Fix prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
- Gold eased 25 cents, or less than 0.1%, to $1,195.25 an ounce,
- Silver gained 23 cents, or 1.5%, to $16.09 an ounce,
- Platinum shed $2, or 0.2%, to $1,195 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $15, or 1.9%, to $810 an ounce.
Last week the metals in London logged declines of 1.8% for gold, 7.1% for silver and 2.8% for platinum and palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
United States Mint bullion sales gained with 370,500 ounces in silver coins and 1,500 ounces in gold coins. The addition of gold coins to the sales board was the first in more than two weeks as it appears U.S. Mint distributors have been on the sidelines waiting for the 2015-editions to launch on Jan. 5. Few of the 2014-dated American Silver Eagles remain. Each sale in 2014 adds to their record, now near 43.9 million for a year. The 2015-dated versions launch on Jan. 12.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Monday, last week, last month, in December, and the year to date. Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Monday Sales||Last Week||November Sales||December Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||16,900|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||49,000||12,000||414,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||8,000||0||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||12,000||6,000||118,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||5,000||0||40,000||35,000||565,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||1,000||0||12,500||3,500||176,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||370,500||235,500||3,426,000||2,328,500||43,875,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||33,000|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||500||900||1,100||24,400|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||22,000|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,400||1,700||4,000||21,900|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||27,000||7,000||34,000|