According to unofficial estimates, demand for gold at yesterday's U.S. Treasury auction was down considerably from the amount sought last month. The accepted minimum price for fine gold was calculated at $251.63 by financial reporters who tracked the bidding.
The sale of 1.5 million Troy ounces, originally scheduled for Tuesday, was postponed until yesterday because of the weather. A Treasury official said poor travel conditions between his office and the General Services Administration, where the bidding took place, added to the difficulty of processing 24 bids for about 3.2 million ounces.
No official results were expected last night. After the January auction, where bids for 5.2 million ounces were entered, determination of successful bidders and average prices took two days.
Reuters and Commodity News Service correspondents said the sale raised about $380 million for the Treasury. One million ounces of finest gold were sold at prices ranging from $251.63 to $254.16.
The highest bid was submitted by Republic National Bank of New York. A half million ounces of lower quality gold (made from melting down old coins) were auctioned at prices ranging from $252.76 to $250.77.
The major buyer at the sale appeared to be West Germany's largest commercial bank, the Dresdner Bank, which entered successful bids for 700,000 ounces.
The relatively smaller number of bids, compared to those received at the January sale, could probably be attributed to the easing of gold prices this month. At the Feb. 7 International Monetary Fund auction, the average price was $252.53, virtually the same as yesterday's London afternoon fix of $252.35.