Gold settled higher to begin the new trading week after falling from a more than four-month high on Friday when the U.S. dollar climbed on the back of a rosier than expected jobs report.
In bullion coin news, the United States Mint on Monday started selling its one-ounce American Platinum Eagle bullion coin for the first time since 2008. Sales of the 99.95% pure platinum coins opened solid for the day, as did sales of the bureau’s gold and silver coins. More about the coins later…
Returning to precious metals, gold for April delivery advanced $3.30, or 0.2%, to finish at $1,341.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Extreme weather, drought, the Ukrainian crisis and cheap valuation have propelled the precious metals and the other commodities prices higher," a Sharps-Pixley analyst said in explaining the allure of gold so far in 2014, according to MarketWatch. "Gold’s safe-haven status has been reinforced, while the fabrication demand for gold has continued to be strong in the East."
Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,327.50 to a high of $1,344.90. Last week, gold climbed $16.60, or 1.3% — its fourth weekly gain in five weeks.
Silver for May delivery ended at $20.91 an ounce, slipping 2 cents, or less than 0.1%. Silver prices traded between $20.61 and $21.06. Last week, the precious metal fell 31 cents, or 1.5%.
In PGM futures prices on Monday:
April platinum declined $6.40, or 0.4%, to $1,477.20 an ounce, ranging from $1,465.40 to $1,483.90. Until Friday, platinum had scored four-straight session gains.
- Falling for the first time in eight sessions, palladium for June delivery shed $4.95, or 0.6%. to $776.85 an ounce. The metal traded between $772.50 and $782.85.
Last week, platinum gained 2.5% and palladium rallied 5%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals split. In contrasting the London fix prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
- Gold tacked on $8.75, or 0.7%, to $1,344 an ounce,
- Silver fell 39 cents, or 1.8%, to $20.99 an ounce,
- Platinum rose $2, or 0.1%, to $1,476 an ounce, and
- Palladium declined $1.50, or 0.2%, to $774.50 an ounce
London bullion fixings gained last week to the tune of 0.7% for gold, 0.5% for silver, 1.3% for platinum and 4% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in March
U.S. Mint sales of American Platinum Eagles opened at 8,500. The one-day total marks a strong showing especially when compared against annual sales of 33,700 ounces in 2008, the last time the bullion coins had been offered. As for the coin’s return, the Mint said last week that it had "listened" to customers and was "pleased to once again offer platinum bullion."
Sales on Monday also climbed for the Mint’s:
- American Gold Eagles, up 4,000 ounces, or double the amount sold last week,
- American Gold Buffalos, up 1,000, and
- American Silver Eagles, up 736,000
Below is a sales breakdown across U.S. Mint bullion products with columns offering the number of bullion coins sold on Monday, last week, in February 2014, the month-to-date, and the year-to-date.
|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||8,500||N/A||N/A||8,500||8,500|
|$50 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||2,000||1,000||22,000||3,000||87,500|
|$25 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||2,000||0||3,000||2,000||17,000|
|$10 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||10,000||0||38,000|
|$5 American Gold Eagle Bullion Coins||10,000||10,000||50,000||20,000||230,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||1,000||4,000||12,000||5,000||58,500|
|$1 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coins||736,000||1,100,000||3,750,000||1,836,000||10,361,000|