Gold Falls in March, Jumps on Quarter; US Mint Silver Coins Strong

by CoinNews.net on March 31, 2014 · 0 comments

Gold Bullion and Coins

Gold prices on Monday closed lower for a fourth straight session, pulling the yellow metal into a deeper monthly loss and cutting some of its quarterly gain.

Gold for June delivery declined $10.50, or 0.8%, to settle at $1,283.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Gold prices ended the U.S. day session lower, near the daily low, hit a seven-week low and also closed at a technically bearish monthly low close on this last trading day of the month and the quarter," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Inc, said in a daily note. "The gold bulls are in a real funk at present. Not even dovish comments from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen at a speech Monday could help out the beleaguered yellow metal."

The settlement price was the lowest since gold finished at $1,274.70 an ounce on Feb. 10. Gold prices shed 2.9% in March — a first monthly decline since December, but jumped 6.8% in the first quarter and year-to-date.

Silver tracked gold on the day with the May contract off 4 cents, or 0.2%, to end at $19.75 an ounce. Among precious metals, silver performed the worst in March, down 7%, and grew the smallest during the quarter, up 2%.

PGM futures climbed on Monday. In the daily closings and monthly changes:

  • July platinum advanced $13.60, or 1%, to $1,420.80 an ounce, paring the March decline to 1.8%.

  • Palladium for June delivery rose $3.40, or 0.4%, to $777.10 an ounce, lifting prices for the month by 4.4%.

During the January to March period, platinum advanced 3.4% while palladium soared 8.2% — handily the best of the metals.

London Fix Precious Metals

Earlier fixed London precious metals split on the day. In contrasting the London fix prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:

  • Gold shed $3, or 0.2%, to $1,291.75 an ounce,
  • Silver added 26 cents, or 1.3%, to $19.97 an ounce,
  • Platinum gained $17, or 1.2%, to $1,418 an ounce, and
  • Palladium rose $7, or 0.9%, to $778 an ounce

Like bullion futures in New York, London precious metals fixings mixed it up on the month. Losses totaled 2.6% for gold, 6.1% for silver and 2.5% for platinum. Palladium was alone with an increase of 4.3%.

As for the first quarter and year so far, London metals logged increases of 7.5% for gold, 2.4% for silver, 4.4% for platinum and 9.4% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in March

U.S. Mint bullion sales are yet to close officially for March, though they are not expected to change. Silver coins are moving quick this year while demand for gold coins is weakening. CoinNews.net will publish a more detailed analysis later, but in summary:

  • American Platinum Eagle coin ended the month at 9,500 ounces. No recent comparisons are available since the Platinum Eagle debuted on March 10 after having not been sold in years 2009-2013. Annual sales in 2008 reached 33,700 ounces.

  • American Eagle gold coins rose 20,000 ounces in March, well off the pace of 31,000 ounces in February and 91,500 ounces in January. Quarterly sales of 142,500 ounces also falls well short from last year’s first three-month total of 292,500 ounces.

  • 2014 American Eagle silver coins advanced 4,476,000, up sharply from 3,750,000 in February but lower than the January total of 4,775,000. Coin sales this year have been rationed by the U.S. Mint and stand at just over 13 million — the second fastest start. Sales during the January to March period in 2013 reached 14,223,000, the quickest starting first quarter. The series launched alongside the Gold Eagles in 1986.

  • American Buffalo gold coins hit 12,000, matching sales from the prior month after starting in January with 41,500. Quarterly sales are 65,500 compared to 95,000 from the same time last year.

  • 2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins total 12,200. The first 2014-dated coin, which honors Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee, debuted on March 17.

CoinNews update: Uncharacteristically, the Mint revised the March bullion figures on April 1. See the updated figures in the March bullion sales report.

Below is a sales breakdown across U.S. Mint bullion products with columns offering the number of bullion coins sold on Monday, last week, last month, in March, and the year-to-date which is also the first quarter.

American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Monday Sales Sales Last Week February Sales March Sales YTD Sales
$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins 0 500 N/A 9,500 9,500
$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins 0 3,000 22,000 15,000 99,500
$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins 0 0 3,000 2,000 17,000
$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins 0 0 10,000 4,000 42,000
$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins 0 5,000 50,000 30,000 240,000
$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins 0 2,000 12,000 12,000 65,500
$1 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins 0 1,192,500 3,750,000 4,476,000 13,001,000
Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Bullion Coins 0 1,700 N/A 12,200 12,200

 

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