Gold closed lower for a third straight session in very thin trading volumes as many investors were already out for the Christmas holiday.
Gold for February delivery shed $4.50, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,173.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,173.80 to a high of $1,181.20. They are off on the holiday-shortened week by 1.9%.
"The U.S. economy is on the right track, and speculation about interest rates will keep gold depressed," Bloomberg News quoted Phil Streible, a senior commodity broker at R.J. O’Brien & Associates in Chicago. "It’s difficult to make a case for gold."
Gold "is struggling to stay above the support of $1,180 and there is a constant battle to hold this ground among bulls and bears," MarketWatch quoted Naeem Aslam, chief analyst at Avatrade.
In rounding out the precious metals complex:
Silver for March delivery ended down 6 cents, or 0.4%, to $15.71 an ounce, ranging from $15.69 to $15.87.
January platinum slipped 60 cents to $1,191.10 an ounce, trading between $1,185.80 and $1,194.50.
- Palladium for March delivery lost $6.25, or 0.8%, to $807.80 an ounce, ranging from $804.70 to $815.40.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals were slightly changed as UK markets, like those in the US, closed early. When comparing London bullion Fix prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday AM:
- Gold added $1.25, or 0.1%, to $1,177 an ounce,
- Silver rose 6 cents, or 0.4%, to $15.77 an ounce,
- Platinum gained $7, or 0.6%, to $1,190 an ounce, and
- Palladium shed $2, or 0.2%, to $809 an ounce.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in December
United States Mint bullion sales were limited Wednesday to American Silver Eagles, which climbed by 75,500. As reported earlier on CoinNews, their gain is the last of the year with no more available until the 2015-dated versions launch on Jan. 12. And with that, the 2014 Silver Eagle sales record ends at 44,006,000. Produced since 1986, the coin’s prior annual record happened in 2013 at 42,675,000 coins.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Wednesday, last week, this 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)|
|Wednesday 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||0||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||0||0||2,000||12,500||4,500||177,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||75,500||235,500||501,000||3,426,000||2,459,000||44,006,000|
|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|