Gold and silver futures moved lower to kick off the new trading week on Monday as oil prices neared 11-year lows. Gold slipped to a more than 1-week low while silver fell to a more than 6.3-year low.
Gold for February delivery declined $12.30, or 1.1%, to close at $1,063.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the weakest since the Dec. 3 close at $1,061.20 an ounce, the day after prices hit a near 6-year low at $1,053.80 an ounce.
"Everybody certainly seems to think that we’re going to see the rate hike [on Wednesday]," Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago, said in a telephone interview according to Bloomberg News. "This is your last-minute adjustments."
Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,062.50 to a high of $1,077.30. They gave back 0.8% last week for their seventh weekly decline in eight weeks.
Silver for March delivery slid 18.9 cents, or 1.4%, to settle at $13.695 an ounce. The close was the lowest since July 30, 2009 when the white metal ended at $13.485 an ounce. Silver prices traded between $13.62 and $13.97. Silver plunged last week by 4.4%.
In other precious metals dealings:
January platinum added $6.50, or 0.8%, to $850.20 an ounce, ranging from $837.10 to $856.80.
- Palladium for March delivery added $3.90, or 0.7%, to $548.70 an ounce, trading between $542.30 and $551.40
Last week, platinum dived 4.2% and palladium plunged 3.9%.
London Precious Metals Prices
Earlier fixed London gold and silver prices declined. In comparing their levels from Friday PM to Monday PM:
- Gold fell $4.25, or 0.4%, to $1,068.25 an ounce.
- Silver shed 21 cents, or 1.5%, to $13.71 an ounce.
LBMA platinum and palladium prices are available on the LBMA’s website with a delay of midnight.
Last week, palladium added 0.2% while the other metal prices logged declines of 0.6% for gold, 1.5% for silver and 2.7% for platinum.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales
2015 American Silver Eagle sales hurdled past the 46 million mark on Monday, landing at a fresh yearly record of 46,639,000 coins. The previous annual record for the bullion series was established last year at 44,006,000 coins. That record was snapped on Nov. 30.
The U.S. Mint announced its final 2015 Silver Eagle allocation at 1.13 million coins, and 361,000 of those now remain. Production of the 2015-dated coins ended last week. The Mint turned its attention this week to making 2016-dated Silver Eagles which go on sale Jan. 11.
Sales of American Gold Buffalo coins also advanced on Monday. The 24-karat gold coins tacked on 1,000 ounces.
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||Nov Sales||Dec Sales||YTD Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins*||N/A||N/A||80,500||N/A||626,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||1,000||7,000||1,000||75,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins*||N/A||N/A||12,000||N/A||158,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins*||N/A||N/A||100,000||N/A||980,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||1,000||500||38,000||1,500||220,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||769,000||1,020,000||4,824,000||1,972,500||46,639,000|
|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|
|2015 Saratoga 5 Oz Silver Coins*||N/A||N/A||35,800||9,200||45,000|