Gold, Silver at Multi-Year Lows; US Mint Coin Sales Robust

Five gold bullion bars
Precious metals moved lower Monday Nov. 23, 2015

Precious metals kicked off the new trading week with losses. Gold ended at a 5.8-year low and silver closed at a more than 6.2-year low.

Gold for December delivery declined $9.50, or 0.9%, to settle at $1,066.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement price was the lowest since Feb. 8, 2010 when gold ended at $1,066.20 an ounce.

"I wouldn’t be surprised to see prices fall below $1,000 as expectations of a rate hike affect sentiment," Reuters quoted Natixis analyst Bernard Dahdah said. "There have been substantial outflows from ETFs and central bank demand only shows additions from gold-producing countries, so generally speaking fundamental demand isn’t really there to support prices."

The yellow metal traded from a low of $1,065 and a high of $1,076.50. Gold prices dipped 0.4% last week, their fifth straight weekly decline.

Silver for December delivery lost 6 cents, or 0.5%, to close at $14.03 an ounce. The settlement was the lowest since Aug. 21, 2009 when the white metal ended at $14.01 an ounce. Silver prices ranged from $13.86 to $14.16. They slipped by 0.8% last week.

In other precious metals futures on Monday:

  • January platinum fell $8.50, or 1%, to $847.40 an ounce, trading between $844.20 and $857.70.

  • Palladium for December delivery fell $17.55, or 3.1%, to $541.35 an ounce, ranging from $538.50 to $564.

Last week, platinum declined 0.9% while palladium rallied 3.6%.

London Precious Metals Prices

Earlier fixed London gold and silver prices also declined. In comparing their levels from Friday PM to Monday PM:

  • Gold fell $11.25, or 1%, to $1,070.50 an ounce.
  • Silver lost 31 cents, or 2.2%, to $13.98 an ounce.

LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA’s website with a delay of midnight.

Last week, gold inched up less than 0.1% and palladium rose 1.7% while silver fell 0.7% and platinum fell 0.9%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales

United States Mint bullion sales started the week strong with gold coins climbing 11,000 ounces and silver coins advancing 733,500 ounces. They follow sharp gains last week when all available silver coins were taken and gold sales scored their best total in 12 weeks.

Earlier Monday, the U.S. Mint announced a weekly Silver Eagle allocation of 1 million coins. Buyers claimed 73.4% of them so far, leaving 266,500 left until next week. The U.S. Mint has limited sales of bullion American Silver Eagles since temporarily running out of them in early July. Sales at 43,663,000 for the year continue at a record pace, up 7% from the same time in 2014. Last year when Silver Eagle sales ended at an annual record of just over 44 million, the bullion coins by Nov. 23, 2014 had posted sales of 40,810,500.

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

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Monday Sales Last Week Oct Sales Nov Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 8,500 39,000 26,000 73,000 619,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 6,000 4,000 7,000 74,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A 4,000 12,000 158,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins* N/A 55,000 50,000 100,000 980,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins* 2,500 9,000 10,500 19,500 200,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 733,500 900,000 3,788,000 3,820,500 43,663,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* N/A 35,000
2015 Kisatchie 5 Oz Silver Coins* 42,000
2015 Blue Ridge Parkway 5 Oz Silver Coins* 45,000
2015 Bombay Hook 5 Oz Silver Coins* 45,000
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