Gold prices settled lower Tuesday on very low pre-holiday volume. In other precious metals, silver and platinum turned up while palladium edged down.
Gold for February delivery shed $1.80, or 0.2%, to end at $1,178 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,173 to a high of $1,184.90. Gold dropped by $16.20, or 1.4%, in the prior session.
"I think it’s simply symptomatic of the typical thinly-traded, end-of-year trading sessions for the metal," MarketWatch quoted Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter, in emailed comments. "Last year, for example, we saw similar volatility, as gold would lose $10-$20 over a couple of days, only to quickly bounce right back up."
"Chart-based technical traders and speculators can use these thin markets to play games and push the gold price around, but bargain-hunting buying usually comes right in from Asia to support the price," Lundin said
Advancing for the fourth time in five sessions, silver for March delivery climbed 8 cents, or 0.5%, to $15.77 an ounce. Silver prices ranged from $15.56 to $15.90. The precious metal tumbled on Monday by 34 cents or 2.1%.
Elsewhere in precious metals dealings:
January platinum gained $9.60, or 0.8%, to $1,191.70 an ounce, trading between $1,179.50 and $1,194.40.
- Palladium for March delivery slipped $1.20, or 0.2%, to $814.05 an ounce, ranging from $807.05 to $816.05.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals were mostly lower. When comparing London bullion Fix prices from Monday PM to Tuesday PM:
- Gold fell $19.50, or 1.6%, to $1,175.75 an ounce,
- Silver plunged 38 cents, or 2.4%, to $15.71 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $12, or 1%, to $1,183 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $1, or 0.1%, to $811 an ounce.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
United States Mint bullion sales advanced with 55,000 ounces in silver coins and 2,000 ounces in gold coins. Fewer and fewer of the 2014-dated American Silver Eagles remain. Two weeks ago, based on demand then, the Mint had expected to run out of them by the end of last week. Each sale in 2014 adds to the Silver Eagle record, now atop 43.9 million for a year. The U.S. Mint is busy striking 2015-dated versions now. They 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 Tuesday, 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)|
|Tuesday Sales||Last Week||Current Week||November Sales||December Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0||16,900|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||1,000||0||1,000||49,000||13,000||415,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||8,000||0||46,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||12,000||6,000||118,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||5,000||40,000||35,000||565,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||1,000||0||2,000||12,500||4,500||177,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||55,000||235,500||425,500||3,426,000||2,383,500||43,930,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0||33,000|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||500||0||900||1,100||24,400|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||0||0||22,000|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,400||0||1,700||4,000||21,900|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||27,000||7,000||34,000|