Gold Ends Near 4.5-Month Low; US Coin Sales Rise

1000 g gold bars
Precious metals futures closed lower Tuesday. U.S. Mint bullion coin sales advanced.

Gold turned down on Tuesday for the first time in four sessions, ahead of the Fed’s policy announcement, and closed at a more than four-month low.

Gold for April delivery declined $5, or 0.4%, to finish at $1,148.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price is the weakest since gold ended at $1,142.60 an ounce on Nov. 6.

"The focus is on the Fed today," David Meger, the director of metal trading at HighRidge Futures LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg News. "The Fed will potentially drop the ‘patient’ word, and that means the rate hike will be soon. Gold being a non-interest bearing asset will obviously be a loser in that scenario."

Federal Reserve officials started a two-day policy meeting on Tuesday and are expected to drop the phrase “patient” from their forward guidance on interest rates.

Gold ranged from a low of $1,141.60 to a high of $1,159.30. Prices advanced modestly in the three previous sessions, logging combined gains of just $2.60.

Silver for May delivery lost 4 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $15.58 an ounce. The precious metal traded between $15.36 and $15.72. Silver prices on Monday advanced 12 cents.

In PGM futures on Tuesday:

  • April platinum dropped $14.20, or 1.3%, to $1,093.70 an ounce, ranging from $1,086.70 to $1,109.40.

  • Palladium tumbled $17.95, or 2.3%, to $762.15 an ounce, trading between $755.10 and $782.80.

London Fix Precious Metals

Earlier fixed London precious metals ended lower or flat. In comparing London bullion Fix prices from Monday PM to Tuesday PM:

  • Gold was unchanged at $1,150.75 an ounce,
  • Silver shed 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $15.56 an ounce,
  • Platinum declined $14, or 1.3%, to $1,099 an ounce, and
  • Palladium fell $24, or 3%, to $765 an ounce.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in March

United States Mint bullion sales advanced 3,500 ounces in gold coins and 195,500 ounces in silver coins. Demand has strengthened for the bureau’s Gold Eagles. Sales of the gold pieces through two weeks of March have past those from all of February by 11,000 ounces.

This listing of U.S. Mint bullion products show the number of coins sold during varying periods.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Tuesday Sales Last Week Current Week February Sales March Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 14,000 5,000 12,500 21,500 85,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 1,000 0 2,000 4,000 24,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 2,000 0 4,000 40,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 20,000 10,000 50,000 50,000 215,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 2,000 3,500 12,000 7,000 53,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 195,500 844,000 608,000 3,022,000 2,039,000 10,591,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 8,000 0 20,000 8,000 28,000
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