Gold Logs Worst Week in 3 Years; US Mint Bullion Sales Best Since January

by on October 8, 2016 · 4 comments

American Eagle gold and silver coins, and $50s

Precious metals sank this week. Meanwhile, sales of U.S. Mint bullion coins were the highest since January when new 2016-dated editions launched.

Precious metals futures changed little Friday, but they tumbled for the week. Gold logged a sixth straight loss, settled at a fresh four-month low, and scored its worst week in over three years.

On Friday, gold for December delivery dipped $1.10, or less than 0.1%, to settle at $1,251.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the weakest since June 7. Gold advanced early Friday after the Labor Department said the U.S. economy added 156,000 jobs last month, down from an upwardly revised 167,000 in August.

"The semi-rally in gold fizzled out as investors dug into the payrolls report more deeply, seeing that it wasn’t as negative as initially thought," MarketWatch quoted Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter.

Once gold "breached the 200-day moving average on a spot basis at around $1,256, technically-based traders found it safe to turn negative now that the payrolls report was behind us."

Gold futures registered a second week of declines — 5% this week and 1.8% last week. This week’s loss was the biggest since the one ended Sept. 13, 2013. Still, gold is 18.1% higher than its final settlement in 2015 at $1,060.20 an ounce.

In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"Eighteen analysts and traders took part in a weekly Wall Street survey. Fourteen participants, or 78%, called for gold to rise next week. Three voters, or 17%, look for lower prices, while one, or 6%, sees gold sideways.

Meanwhile, 463 Main Street participants submitted votes in an online survey. A total of 264 respondents, or 57%, said they were bullish for the week ahead, while 137, or 30%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 62, or 13%."

Climbing from a 3 1/2-month low and for the first time in five days, silver for December delivery on Friday added 3.5 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $17.38 an ounce. The precious metal sank 9.6% this week after falling 3% last week. Despite two straight weekly declines, silver is $3.58, or 25.9%, higher than its ending 2015 settlement of $13.803 an ounce.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • January platinum shed $3.70, or 0.4%, to $962.60 an ounce, for a 7% weekly loss.

  • Palladium for December delivery rose $1.25, or 0.2%, to $667.40 an ounce, but sank 7.5% this week.

Both metals remain higher on the year so far with gains of 7.8% for platinum and 18.8% for palladium.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals prices were also mixed on Friday and sharply lower on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold rose $4.25, or 0.3%, to $1,258.75 an ounce.
  • Silver fell 43 cents, or 2.4%, to $17.33 an ounce.
  • Platinum added $2, or 0.2%, to $975 an ounce.
  • Palladium gained $7, or 1%, to $674 an ounce.

Their weekly losses totaled to 4.8% for gold, 10.4% for silver, 5.7% for platinum and 6.6% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016

Lower precious metals encouraged U.S. Mint distributors to order a lot more bullion coins in the last few days. Weekly sales of the Mint’s gold and silver coins were highest since January when newly dated 2016-editions launched. In more recent week-over-week comparisons:

  • Gold coins advanced 53,500 ounces after rising 32,500 ounces last week. This week’s splits include 45,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 28,000 ounces previously and 8,000 ounces in American Gold Buffalo compared to 4,500 ounces previously.

  • Silver coin sales advanced 1.41 million ounces after climbing by 367,500 ounces previously. The weekly splits include 1,405,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles compared to 370,000 ounces previously and 5,000 ounces in America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coins compared to negative adjustment 2,500 ounces previously.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Sales Last Week This Week / Oct Sept Sales 2016 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coins* 20,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 19,500 24,000 42,000 79,000 607,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 1,000 1,000 5,000 57,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 4,000 6,000 6,000 16,000 122,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 0 20,000 15,000 85,000 715,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 3,500 4,500 8,000 17,500 157,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 50,000 370,000 1,405,000 1,675,000 31,980,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins* 105,000
2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins* 75,000
2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 0 200 36,300
2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 -500 1,000 2,000 30,500


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Mouse October 9, 2016 at 6:52 pm

Gotta love the spot fluctuations. There is always a time to sell, but now is a time to buy. Time to stack.

Seth Riesling October 9, 2016 at 7:11 pm

Mouse –

Especially true about platinum! About
US $290 less per ounce than gold now & hundreds times rarer. Great buying opportunity for sure.


Mouse October 10, 2016 at 12:06 pm

Hi Seth,

Platinum is a rare commodity for sure. I tend to shy away from it. There is to much of a monopoly with the element and its practical application in the open market is limited. When one country holds the majority of it’s mining, platinum value can destabilize quickly. The refining process is extremely expensive making it risky at best. For me platinum is a quick buy and an even quicker sell. I don’t feel comfortable stacking platinum for long. Just my preference.


Seth Riesling October 10, 2016 at 2:52 pm

Mouse –

I agree totally. With about 90 percent of platinum coming from South Africa & Russia, stability is affected by mine labor strikes. But, platinum group metals are needed for every automobile with a catalytic converter & China auto sales increase as their small middle class grows larger. As a coinage metal it is of course brittle, hard & as you basically said almost impossible to get to .9999 fine due to impurities. I still like this very rare silvery, dense precious metal. Stack on!

Happy precious metals collecting & investing! & Happy Canadian Thanksgiving Day Mouse!


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