Gold settled lower for a second session in a row on Monday as investors took profits and the U.S. dollar climbed.
In other bullion news, United States Mint sales of bullion American Silver Eagles reached over 5.1 million for the month, topping sales of 4.775 million from January 2014.
Returning to precious metals, gold for February fell $13.20, or 1%, to close at $1,279.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"Gold prices ended the U.S. day session moderately lower Monday, on profit-taking from recent gains that saw prices last week hit a 5.5-month high, and on a strong U.S. dollar index that notched a 12-year high," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report.
Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,275.60 to a high of $1,299.20. Gold gained 1.2% last week, a third straight weekly increase. Prices topped $1,300 an ounce on Thursday for the first time in more than five months.
Silver for March delivery tumbled 32 cents, or 1.7%, to settle at $17.98, trading between $17.87 and $18.49. Silver also fell on Friday, snapping a six-session winning streak, but prices last week still surged 3.1%.
In rounding out precious metals futures trading on Monday:
April platinum declined $13.70, or 1%, to $1,255 an ounce, ranging from $1,246.60 to $1,278.90.
- Palladium for March delivery gained $7.75, or 1%, to $781.85 an ounce, trading between $758 and $782.50.
Last week, platinum slipped 70 cents while palladium jumped 2.6%.
London Fix Precious Metals
Earlier fixed London precious metals moved in the same direction as New York bullion futures. In comparing London bullion Fix prices from Friday PM to Monday PM:
- Gold lost $13.50, or 1%, to $1,281.25 an ounce,
- Silver fell 40 cents, or 2.2%, to $17.83 an ounce,
- Platinum declined $18, or 1.4%, to $1,256 an ounce, and
- Palladium added $5, or 0.7%, to $772 an ounce.
The metals gained last week by 1.4% for gold, 7.7% for silver, 1% for platinum and 1.3% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in January
United States Mint bullion sales on Monday were limited to 2015 American Silver Eagles. The bullion coins rose 367,000 to 5,127,500, the most for a month since 5.79 million sold in October. Like last year at this time, the U.S. Mint continues to ration Silver Eagle sales to maintain an inventory and to ensure even distribution to its authorized buyers.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold on Monday, last week, in December, last year, and the year to date. Coins with an asterisk (*) have sold out for 2014 with 2015-dated versions yet to be released.
|American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Monday Sales||Last Week||December Sales||2014 Sales||January / 2015 Sales|
|$100 American Platinum Eagle Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||16,900||0|
|$50 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||1,000||13,000||415,500||50,500|
|$25 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||0||46,000||18,000|
|$10 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||2,000||6,000||118,000||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle Bullion Gold Coins||0||10,000||35,000||565,000||100,000|
|$50 American Buffalo Bullion Gold Coins||0||0||4,500||177,500||32,500|
|$1 American Eagle Silver Bullion Coins||367,000||1.059M||2.459M||44.006M||5,127,500|
|Great Smoky Mountains National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||33,000||0|
|Shenandoah National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins||0||600||1,100||24,400||600|
|Arches National Park 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||0||22,000||0|
|Great Sand Dunes 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||4,000||22,000||0|
|Everglades 5 Oz Silver Bullion Coins*||0||0||7,000||34,000||0|