Gold prices closed lower for a third straight session Wednesday but notched a 0.9% gain on the month. During the same time, U.S. Mint sales of gold coins rose sharply.
Gold for June delivery lost 40 cents to settle at $1,295.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gains in April were mostly attributed to safe-haven demand as a result of Ukrainian-Russian tensions. The precious metal is up 7.8% since the end of 2013.
"The Russia-Ukraine crisis is still on the radar screen of the world market place. The matter has not de-escalated," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Inc, said in a daily note. "This situation is likely to get worse before it gets any better. Gold and other safe-haven assets will likely at least see selling interest limited due to the instability in Ukraine."
In after-hours trade on Wednesday, gold prices shifted down further in electronic trading following the conclusion of the Federal Reserve’s latest policy meeting. The Fed announced a fourth $10 billion reduction to its bond-buying stimulus, trimming its monthly purchases to $45 billion. Even though the move was expected, gold prices fell toward $1,292 an ounce.
Silver was hit hardest Wednesday, and was alone with a monthly loss. Silver for July delivery dropped 36 cents, or 1.9%, to close at $19.17 an ounce. Prices in April tumbled 58 cents, or 2.9%. Silver is also by itself with losses on the year so far, down 1%.
PGMs split on the day with platinum falling and palladium rising for a second session. In their breakdowns:
July platinum shed $3.50, or 0.2%, to $1,427.90 an ounce, inching up 0.5% for April
- Palladium for June delivery tacked on $4.60, or 0.6%, to $812.50 an ounce, jumping 4.6% on the month.
For the year-to-date, platinum has gained 3.9% and palladium has surged 13.1%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals were mixed. In contrasting the London fix prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:
- Gold declined $9.25, or 0.7%, to $1,288.50 an ounce,
- Silver shed 5 cents, or 0.3%, to $19.28 an ounce,
- Platinum was unchanged at $1,424 an ounce, and
- Palladium rose $3.50, or 0.4%, to $803 an ounce
London bullion fixings marked April increases of 0.4% for platinum and 3.2% for palladium and losses of 0.3% for gold and 3.5% for silver.
US Mint Bullion Sales in March
While U.S. Mint bullion figures for April are not likely to change, the bureau has not officially closed the month out. CoinNews.net will later publish a more detailed analysis but as the numbers stand now:
American Platinum Eagle coins climbed 1,200 in April after gaining 10,000 in March — the first month of availability since they were last sold in 2008.
American Eagle gold coins gained 38,500 ounces, the most since the 2014-dated coins launched in January when sales hit 91,500 ounces. Sales for the year so far are at 182,000 ounces, down from last year which had sales of 209,500 ounces.
2014 American Eagle silver coins rose 4,580,500 in April compared to 5,354,000 in March. Silver Eagle sales this year have been rationed by the U.S. Mint and stand at 18,469,500, the quickest for a year through April 30. Last year had held the record for the same period at 18,310,000.
American Buffalo gold coins gained 17,500, up 5,500 from the previous month. The total is the highest since the 2014-dated coins debuted in January at 41,500.
2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose 10,600 after gaining 12,400 in March when the first 2014-dated coin honoring Great Smoky Mountains National Park debuted on March 17. The U.S. Mint on April 21 said it temporarily sold out of coin and that it would have additional inventory available in a few weeks.
Coin News Update: Read the more detailed analysis of US Mint bullion sales in April.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Wednesday, last week, the week-to-date, last month, this month, and the year-to-date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday Sales||Sales Last Week||Week-To-Date Sales||March Sales||April Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||100||200||10,000||1,200||11,200|
|$50 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||500||3,000||3,500||16,000||26,000||126,500|
|$25 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||2,000||0||4,000||2,000||5,000||22,000|
|$10 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||2,000||0||4,000||20,000||62,000|
|$5 American Eagle Gold Bullion Coins||0||5,000||15,000||30,000||50,000||290,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Gold Bullion Coins||0||1,000||3,500||12,000||17,500||83,000|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||0||1,246,500||915,500||5,354,000||4,590,500||18,469,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||N/A||600||N/A||12,400||10,600||23,000|