Gold futures settled lower on Wednesday for the seventh time in eight sessions, but then rallied 2.7% in after-hours trading when the Federal Open Market Committee released its latest monetary policy statement and held interest rates steady.
Gold for April delivery dipped $1.20, or less than 0.1%, to close at $1,229.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In electronic trading after the Fed news, gold futures moved near $1,264 an ounce.
The Fed decision "implies that economic growth is weak," Bloomberg News quoted Joe Foster, who helps manage a $575 million gold fund at Van Eck Associates. "A weak economy and the inability to have effective monetary policy creates all sorts of financial risks, risks in the banking system, risks to the economy, and those type of systemic risks are what gold rises on."
Early Wednesday, the U.S. Labor Department said consumer prices fell 0.2% in February but core inflation rose to a higher-than-expected level of 0.3%. That data was taken as more supportive of a Fed rate hike.
Elsewhere in trading, silver for May delivery shed 4.2 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $15.219 an ounce. The precious metal was last near $15.64 an ounce in after-hours trading.
In PGM futures on Wednesday:
April platinum lost $1.10, or 0.1%, to $958.70 an ounce, ranging from $955.90 to $983.
- Palladium for June delivery gained $6.80, or 1.2%, to $577.50 an ounce, trading between $564.05 and $583.35.
London Precious Metals Prices
In comparing earlier fixed London gold and silver prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:
- Gold declined $3.50, or 0.3%, to $1,228.50 an ounce.
- Silver declined 3 cents, or 0.2%, to $15.29 an ounce.
LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA’s website with a delay of midnight.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2016
United States Mint bullion sales rose 1,000 ounces in gold coins and 32,500 ounces in American Silver Eagles.
The U.S. Mint this week limited its Silver Eagle sales to 1 million coins. The last of those were claimed on Wednesday and no more will be available until next Monday. Their cumulative sales hit 13 million coins, or 25.1% higher than through the same time in record year 2015.
Below is a sales breakdown of United States Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Jan Sales||Feb Sales||Mar Sales||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||11,500||5,000||89,000||67,500||17,500||174,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||1,000||0||23,000||6,000||1,000||30,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||4,000||0||36,000||12,000||4,000||52,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||0||10,000||10,000||145,000||100,000||30,000||275,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||0||2,000||1,000||34,000||19,000||3,000||56,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||32,500||1,000,000||1,000,000||5,954,500||4,782,000||2,263,500||13,000,000|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||N/A||105,000||0||105,000|