Gold, Silver Advance; Keep Gains After Fed Rate Hike

Large silver bullion bar, smaller gold bar and nugget
Gold and other precious metals advanced Wednesday

Precious metals futures advanced on Wednesday and held onto gains after the Fed voted unanimously to raise interest rates for the first time in nine years.

Gold for February delivery tacked on $15.20, or 1.4%, to settle at $1,076.80 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,060.70 to a high of $1,077.90. Gold’s settlement was ahead the Fed’s announcement. The precious metal was last at $1,073.40 an ounce.

"Gold prices were trading higher in afternoon dealings Wednesday and holding on to early gains in the aftermath of the first interest rate increase from the U.S. Federal Reserve since 2006," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a daily note. "Short covering and position evening in the futures markets, and bargain hunting in the cash markets, were featured in gold and silver ahead of this afternoon’s FOMC statement."

On Tuesday, gold shed $1.80, or 0.2%, and closed at $1,061.60 an ounce to mark an almost two-week low.

Silver for March delivery rallied 47.8 cents, or 3.5%, to settle at $14.248 an ounce. Silver prices traded from $13.74 to $14.26. On Tuesday, they climbed 0.6% while on Monday they dropped 1.4% and settled at their lowest level since July 30, 2009. In after-hours trade, the white metal was sticking at $14.18 an ounce.

PGM futures continued to post gains. In trading on Wednesday:

  • January platinum rose $20.20, or 2.4%, to $876 an ounce, ranging from $855.30 to $880.50.

  • Palladium for March delivery added $5, or 0.9%, to $571.95 an ounce, trading between $561.60 and $573.75.

Palladium is riding a four-session winning streak while platinum logged a third day of gains.

London Precious Metals Prices

Earlier fixed London gold and silver prices were mixed. In comparing their levels from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:

  • Gold added $13.75, or 1.3%, to $1,075.25 an ounce.
  • Silver was unchanged at $13.74 an ounce.

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

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales

United States Mint bullion sales were unchanged Wednesday but sales of American Silver Eagles did advance by 361,000 coins on Tuesday. The increase was the last for the 2015-dated coins, with all of them selling out, and established their final annual sales record at 47 million. The Mint is now striking 2016-dated Silver Eagles. The new coins go on sale Jan. 11, 2016.

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)
Wednesday Sales Tuesday Sales Last Week This Week Nov Sales Dec Sales YTD Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A N/A N/A 80,500 N/A 626,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 1,000 0 7,000 1,000 75,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A N/A N/A 12,000 N/A 158,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins* N/A N/A N/A N/A 100,000 N/A 980,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 500 1,000 38,000 1,500 220,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins* N/A 361,000 1,020,000 1,130,000 4,824,000 2,333,500 47,000,000
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 35,800 9,200 45,000
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