Gold and silver futures each climbed 1% in their start to the new trading week on Monday, with gold ending at a 6-week high and silver closing at a near 1-month high.
Also on Monday, the United States Mint started accepting orders for newly dated 2017 American Eagle and Buffalo bullion gold coins.
In first breaking down precious metals prices, gold for February delivery tacked on $11.50 to finish at $1,184.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the highest since Nov. 29.
"A slight pullback in yields and a tiny dip in the dollar and weaker equities are enough to support gold, which is starting to benefit from greater stability in emerging markets," Reuters quoted James Steel, chief metals analyst for HSBC Securities in New York.
Gold futures ranged from a low of $1,172.30 to a high of $1,186.40. They climbed 1.9% last week for their second straight weekly gain after having previously dropped for seven weeks in a row.
Elsewhere, silver for March delivery gained 16.4 cents to settle at $16.683 an ounce. The close is the highest since Dec. 14. Silver futures traded between $16.45 and $16.74. They jumped last week by 3.3%.
In other precious metals futures on Monday:
Last week, the two metals surged by 7.2% and 11%.
In comparing earlier fixed London bullion prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA's website with a delay of midnight.
Last week, London metal prices registered gains of 1.5% for gold, 1.3% for silver, 5.7% for platinum and 10.2% for palladium.
U.S. Mint distributors spent a good deal of money buying just released 2017-dated American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins. There was some pent-up demand with popular 2016-dated editions selling out in early December.
First-day sales of 2017 America Silver Eagles hit 3,747,500 coins, marking a 36% increase over the opening day total of 2,756,500 coins for last year's release. The one-day tally is already higher than half of the monthly totals logged in 2016.
A combined 68,000 ounces in American Gold Eagles sold on Monday, up 13.3% from opening day sales in 2016 of 60,000 ounces.
Lastly, 2017 American Buffalo gold coins reached 20,500 ounces in their first day, for a 2.4% decrease from the 21,000 ounces moved when the 2016-dated edition launched last year.
In early 2016, physical gold hit $1,050 an ounce, which marked a level that gold investors hadn't seen since the latter half of 2009. After hitting $1,900 an ounce in 2011, gold shed 45% of its value as the U.S. economy improved, the U.S. dollar strengthened, and the Federal Reserve teased at, and finally began, raising its benchmark federal funds rate.
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