Precious metals were slammed Thursday by bearish FOMC minutes that were released Wednesday afternoon. Gold futures ended lower for a second session in a row, after rising for three straight, and logged a more than three-week low.
Gold for June delivery declined $19.60, or 1.5%, to settle at $1,254.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close was the weakest since April 27. On Wednesday, minutes from the Fed’s last policy meeting showed that a rate hike in June was on the table.
"All of a sudden a June rate hike seems to be back on the table," Bloomberg News quoted Carsten Fritsch, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt. "Gold is in this situation where speculators are already heavily long invested, so there’s a risk-off broad-based profit taking from investors cutting their extremely high net-long positions on gold."
Gold futures traded from a low of $1,244.60 to a high of $1,262.30. They are down 1.4% so far this week.
Silver for July delivery sank 63.9 cents, or 3.7%, to close at $16.493 an ounce. The settlement was the lowest since April 18. Silver prices ranged from $16.41 to $16.95. They have fallen 3.7% since Friday.
In rounding out precious metals futures trading:
July platinum fell $29.20, or 2.8%, to $1,013.30 an ounce, trading between $1,009.50 and $1,033.20.
- Palladium for June delivery settled down $21.15, or 3.7%, to $558.45 an ounce, ranging from $556.65 to $577.75.
London Precious Metals Prices
In comparing earlier fixed London gold and silver prices from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:
- Gold fell $26.65, or 2.1%, to $1,246.25 an ounce.
- Silver declined 45 cents, or 2.6%, to $16.60 an ounce.
LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA’s website with a delay of midnight.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016
U.S. Mint bullion products registered sales on Thursday that included 10,500 ounces in gold coins and 132,500 ounces in silver coins.
The U.S. Mint this week allocated sales of American Silver Eagles to 1 million coins. Distributors order 94.5% of them through Thursday. 2016 Silver Eagles are running at a record sales pace with 21,917,500 sold. That marks a 35% increase over the same time in record-breaking 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)|
|Thursday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Mar Sales||Apr Sales||May Sale||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||6,000||9,000||16,000||29,000||93,500||36,000||315,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||-6,000||0||0||1,000||6,000||3,000||39,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||4,000||0||4,000||4,000||14,000||4,000||70,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||30,000||0||30,000||75,000||55,000||40,000||415,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||500||3,500||1,500||7,000||19,500||11,500||91,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||77,500||972,500||945,000||4,106,000||4,072,000||3,003,000||21,917,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||0||0||0||0||0||105,000|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins||11,000||0||11,000||0||64,000||11,000||75,000|