Gold futures started the new trading week lower on Monday, closing down for the first time in three sessions and backing off from a more than two-month high.
In bullion coin news, United Mint sales of its American Silver Eagle topped 4.5 million for the month-to-date. Just three other months are stronger in the Silver Eagle’s 28-year history.
Back to precious metals futures, gold for February delivery dipped 90 cents, or less than 0.1%, to finish at $1,263.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices traded through a range from $1,256.20 to $1,279.80.
There are "worries in the market place early this week that the U.S. Federal Reserve will continue to reel in its easy-money policy this week, which ostensibly soaks up some liquidity in the world market place, starting with the periphery currencies," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Inc, said in a daily note.
"Tuesday and Wednesday the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets to set its monetary policy. There is a general belief, albeit not a clear consensus, that the Fed will do another $10 billion tapering of its monthly bond-buying program."
Last week, gold rose 1% to score a fifth straight weekly gain and settled at its highest price since Nov. 10.
Silver was an outlier in precious metals on Monday, alone with gains. Silver for March delivery inched up 3 cents, or 0.1%, to end at $19.79 an ounce. It traded between $19.68 and $20.09.
In PGM futures on Monday:
April platinum declined $7.50, or 0.5%, to $1,421.10 an ounce, ranging from $1,407.10 to $1,439.80.
- Palladium for March delivery fell $12.25, or 1.7%, to $722.55 an ounce, trading between $722 and $737.75.
Platinum and palladium each fell 1.8% last week.
London Fix Precious Metals
London bullion fixings declined. In contrasting the London fix prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
- Gold shed $6.50, or 0.5%, to $1,260.50 an ounce,
- Silver lost 36 cents, or 1.8%, to $19.83 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $22, or 1.5%, to $1,421 an ounce, and
- Palladium fell $14, or 1.9%, to $731 an ounce
Last week in London precious metals fixings, gold rose 1.4% and silver climbed 0.9%. Platinum and palladium each fell 0.3%.
US Mint Bullion Sales in January
2014 Silver Eagle sales advanced 502,000 on Monday, bringing the total since released on Jan. 13, or two weeks ago, to 4,516,000. The amount is the highest for a month since sales of 7,498,000 in January 2013, the all-time monthly record. If the total remains unchanged, January 2014 will go down in the books as the fourth highest Silver Eagle sales month. The coins debuted in November 1986.
Here is a sales breakdown across all United States Mint bullion coins:
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Monday Sales||Sales Last Week||2014 Sales to Jan. 27|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||5,000||61,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||12,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||28,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||150,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||0||39,500|
|American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||502,000||550,000||4,516,000|