Gold Ends at 3-1/2 Month Low; US Mint Bullion Sales Race

Gold Bar and Gold Bullion Coins
Precious metals were mixed on the week. US Mint bullion sales were the strongest since January.

Gold finished the holiday-shortened week on Thursday at a 3-1/2 month low while silver pushed its losing streak to six sessions in a row. Markets in the U.S. are closed on Friday for the 4th of July weekend.

Gold for August delivery shed $5.80, or 0.5%, to end at $1,163.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price is the lowest since March 18 when gold hit $1,151.30 an ounce. The precious metal has seen little support from Greece’s debt woes this week, with prices dipping 0.8%.

"With the clear exception of developments that put the entire global monetary system at risk or entail monetary expansion, any reaction by gold to global crises is short-lived and relegated to events that are a surprise," MarketWatch quoted Brien Lundin, editor of Gold Newsletter. "The crisis in Greece will not threaten the global financial system, and investors have had plenty of warning that this day would come," he said.

Gold prices are now down 1.7% since ending last year at $1,184.10 an ounce. Looking ahead, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"This week 211 people participated in Kitco News’ online survey. Of those voters, 119 people, or 56%, expect to see lower gold prices next week; 62 participants, or 29%, expect to see higher prices next week. Thirty people, or 14%, are neutral on the gold market.

For the third week in a row, the market professional survey remains relatively uncertain about gold price next with the bulls and bears caught in another statistical tie. Out of 33 market experts contacted, 18 responded; of those, eight participants, or 44%, are bullish on gold next week. Seven experts, or 39%, are bearish, and three people, or 17%, are neutral on gold."

Elsewhere, silver for September delivery lost 2 cents, or 0.1%, to settle at $15.56 an ounce. Silver prices declined 1.1% from last Friday, marking a second straight weekly decline. The latest weekly loss drove silver slightly lower on the year. Prices have slipped 0.2% since ending 2014 at $15.60 an ounce.

In PGM futures for the day and week:

  • October platinum fell $3.80, or 0.4%, to $1,084 an ounce, but rose 0.3% for the week.

  • Palladium for September lost $7.05, or 1%, to $694.15 an ounce, but gained 2.3% on the week.

Both metals are down on the year to date — platinum by 10.4% and palladium by 13.1%.

London Precious Metals Prices

Earlier fixed London precious metals prices were mixed. In comparing London bullion prices from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:

  • Gold fell $2.75, or 0.2%, to $1,165.25 an ounce,
  • Silver dipped 2 cents, or 0.1%, to $15.61 an ounce,
  • Platinum added $1, or 0.1%, $1,083 an ounce, and
  • Palladium gained $2, or 0.3%, to $701 an ounce.

Since last Friday, London gold prices dipped 0.5% and silver declined 1.4% while platinum rose 0.8% and palladium climbed 3.7%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in July

United States Mint bullion sales leapt Thursday, showing up on the sales boards for the first time in July and padding exceptional weekly totals that stand the tallest since the week after the 2015-dated coins launched in January. In the latest weekly bullion sales comparisons:

  • Gold coins jumped by 33,000 ounces after last week’s pick up of 18,500 ounces. Weekly splits include 25,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles compared to 15,000 previously and 7,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins compared to 3,500 ounces previously.

  • Silver coins rallied by 1,932,000 ounces following last week’s addition of 1,265,000 ounces. All gains this week came from American Silver Eagles with the Blue Ridge National Forest Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coin temporarily selling out on the day it was released, June 22.

Below is a listing of U.S. Mint bullion products that shows the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Thursday/July Sales Last Week Current Week June Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 9,000 12,500 21,000 62,500 207,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 1,000 2,000 4,000 37,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 4,000 0 8,000 12,000 74,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 20,000 15,000 85,000 395,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,500 3,500 7,500 21,000 99,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 782,000 1,090,000 1,932,000 4,840,000 22,568,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* 35,000
2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins* 42,000
2015 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 Oz Silver Coins 35,000 35,000 35,000
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