Gold Falls for Third Session; US Mint Bullion Sales Rise

one-ounce gold, sqare bars
Precious metals retreated in tandem on Tuesday

Precious metals futures declined on Tuesday with gold and silver falling for a third session in a row and platinum and palladium dropping for a second straight day.

Gold for February delivery shed $11, or 1%, to settle at $1,085.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Gold prices ended the U.S. day session moderately lower Tuesday on more profit-taking and chart consolidation following recent gains," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a daily report. "Bearish ‘outside markets’ also weighed on the precious metals today, as the U.S. dollar index was solidly higher and crude oil prices were lower and hit another 12-year low today."

Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,083.10 to a high of $1,099.10. They declined $1.70, or 0.2%, in starting the week on Monday. As recently Thursday, gold closed above $1,100 an ounce and to its highest price since Nov. 3.

Elsewhere, silver for March delivery lost 11.5 cents, or 0.8%, to settle at $13.751 an ounce. Silver prices traded between $13.73 and $13.91. On Monday, they slipped 5 cents or 0.4%.

In PGM futures on Tuesday:

  • April platinum declined $7.70, or 0.9%, to $838.60 an ounce, ranging from $831 to $850.10.

  • Palladium for March delivery fell $4.50, or 1%, to $469.80 an ounce, trading between $451.50 and $482.

London Precious Metals Prices

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

  • Gold lost $15.35, or 1.4%, to $1,085.40 an ounce.
  • Silver lost 9 cents, or 0.6%, to $13.88 an ounce.

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

US Mint Bullion Sales in 2016

The United States Mint on Monday started selling its range of 2016-dated bullion coins. Those robust, starting sales were padded on Tuesday with gains of 10,000 ounces in gold coins and 389,500 ounces in silver coins.

The latter was all 2016 American Silver Eagles. Nearly 79% of the week’s supply has been claimed. The U.S. Mint allocated 4 million of them this week. With Tuesday’s gains, there are 854,000 left until more become available next Monday.

Sales splits for the gold coins on Tuesday include 8,000 ounces in 2016 American Gold Eagles and 2,000 ounces in 2016 American Buffalo gold coins. The U.S. Mint still has a supply of 2015-dated Gold Buffalo and 1/2 ounce Gold Eagle coins. The Mint will sell only 2016s in January. The 2015s will return for sale in February.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) have sold out.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Tuesday Last Week This Week Dec Sales 2015 Sales 2016 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 6,000 N/A 47,500 N/A 626,500 47,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 0 13,000 1,000 75,000 13,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 N/A 24,000 N/A 158,000 24,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 10,000 N/A 80,000 N/A 980,000 80,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 0 23,000 1,500 220,500 23,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 389,500 N/A 3,146,000 2,333,500 47,000,000 3,146,000
2015 Homestead 5 Oz Silver Coins* N/A 35,000 N/A
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 9,200 45,000
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