Gold fell to a six-week low Thursday, dropping for a third straight session, driving further below $1,300 an ounce, and logging a 3% monthly decline.
Gold for December delivery lost $14.10, or 1.1%, to settle at $1,282.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price was the lowest since June 19. Among factors cited for losses were a stronger U.S. dollar and a view that interest rates may rise sooner than expected.
Gold market bulls were disappointed that a big sell off in the U.S. stock market Thursday, amid some ongoing geopolitical worries, did not help gold’s cause at all. Instead traders focused on the bearish aspects of some better-than-expected U.S. economic data this week," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report Thursday.
"The stronger U.S. data falls into the camp of the U.S. monetary policy hawks who want to see interest rates rise sooner rather than later. It bears repeating, however, that an accelerating U.S. economic recovery raises the stakes for problematic price inflation down the road — and that’s gold-market bullish," Wyckoff added."
Gold has gained 6.7% for the year so far even as prices have fallen in four of the last five months.
Silver, Platinum and Palladium Futures
Silver for September delivery slid 19 cents, or 0.9%, to close at $20.41 an ounce. Silver prices traded 3.1% lower in July but have advanced 5.4% for the year-to-date.
In rounding out the precious metals complex for Thursday and the month:
October platinum declined $16.70, or 1.1%, to $1,465.20 an ounce, registering a 1.2% loss in July.
- Palladium for September shed $6.45, or 0.7%, to $873.70 an ounce, yet jumped 3.6% for the month.
On the year so far, platinum has gained 6.7% and palladium has soared 21.6%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals split on Thursday and in July. In contrasting the London bullion fix prices from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:
- Gold turned down $9.25, or 0.7%, to $1,285.25 an ounce,
- Silver advanced 15 cents, or 0.7%, to $20.69 an ounce,
- Platinum lost $8, or 0.5%, to $1,472 an ounce, and
- Palladium edged up $2, or 0.2%, to $880 an ounce
London palladium capped its monthly increase at 4.3%. The other precious metals fixings logged July declines totaling 2.3% for gold, 0.9% for silver and 0.5% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Sales in July
July is a typically slower month for bullion coins but demand was exceptionally weak this month. U.S. Mint bullion sales are yet to officially close for July, although figures are not expected to change. CoinNews.net will publish a more detailed analysis later, but in summary:
American Eagle gold coins gained 30,000 ounces in July after sales of 48,500 ounces in June. The monthly amount is the second lowest this year, behind sales of 21,000 ounces in March. 2014 sales now total 296,000 ounces, well lower than the 679,500 ounces sold during the first seven months of 2013.
2014 American Eagle silver coins advanced 1,975,000, the first sub-2 million month since December when the 2013-dated Silver Eagles sold out on Dec. 10. Sales have slowed sharply in the last 10 weeks after several record-pace months. Silver Eagle sales for the year are at 26,103,500, which is still the second highest tally at this point. Last year when the annual American Silver Eagle sales record was set at above 42.6 million, the coins reached 29,450,000 in the January to July period. Over 4.4 million were sold in July 2013 alone.
American Buffalo gold coins rose 5,500 for the month versus 16,000 in June. The total is the weakest since sales of 4,000 coins in July 2012.
2014 America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose 2,000 in July after gaining 21,400 in June when sales kicked off the for coin honoring Arches National Park in Utah.
American Platinum Eagle coins were flat in July after rising 700 in June. The platinum coin is in its 18th full week of release following a five-year hiatus.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Thursday, last week, this week so far, last month, this month, and the year to date.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Thursday Sales||Sales Last Week||Current Sales Week||June Sales||July Sales||YTD Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins||0||0||0||700||0||12,900|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||3,000||1,500||43,000||26,000||224,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||2,000||0||27,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||2,000||0||4,000||6,000||78,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||5,000||0||35,000||25,000||385,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||1,500||0||16,000||5,500||117,000|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||50,000||615,000||335,000||2,692,000||1,975,000||26,103,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||500||0||2,000||500||29,500|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||900||0||20,000|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||0||0||18,500||1,500||20,000|