Gold Starts Week at 3-Month High; US Mint Coin Sales Climb

Bullion Gold Bars, Three
Gold, silver and palladium gained on Monday. Platinum declined modestly.

Gold futures on Monday posted their best gains in almost a week and settled at a three-month high on continued safe-haven demand.

Gold for April delivery rose $11.60, or 1%, to close at $1,128 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement was the highest since Nov. 2 when prices ended at $1,135.90 an ounce. The gain was the biggest since Tuesday, Jan. 26.

"People are hiding from all the volatility and uncertainty out there," Bloomberg News quoted Frank Lesh, a trader at FuturePath Trading LLC in Chicago. "Any time you see any weaker number, that’s going to support gold, with the thought that the Fed is less likely to be raising rates when we see weaker data points."

Reports released Monday showed weaker manufacturing levels in China and in the United States.

Gold prices traded from a low of $1,115.30 to a high of $1,129.40. They tacked on 1.8% last week to finish 5.3% higher in January.

Silver for March delivery climbed by a dime, or 0.7%, to settle at $14.343 an ounce. Silver prices ranged from $14.20 to $14.42. They rose 1.3% last week to close January with a 3.2% increase.

In rounding out the precious metals complex:

  • April platinum declined $4.20, or 0.5%, to $870.10 an ounce, trading between $865.50 and $877.60.

  • Palladium for March delivery settled up $3.85, or 0.8%, to $502.35 an ounce, ranging from $495.20 and $506.65.

London Precious Metals Prices

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

  • Gold added $14.70, or 1.3%, to $1,126.50 an ounce.
  • Silver added 25 cents, or 1.8%, to $14.33 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

United States Mint bullion sales moved up Monday with gains of 2,500 ounces in gold coins and 732,500 in American Silver Eagles.

The U.S. Mint is rationing sales of Silver Eagles because of silver planchet shortages. Earlier Monday, the Mint announced its weekly Silver Eagle allocation at 1,045,500 coins. Mint distributors ordered 70.1% of them on Monday, leaving 313,000 until more become available next week. In January, sales reached nearly 6 million for the biggest monthly gain in 3 years.

Also on Monday, the U.S. Mint started selling the first 2016-dated America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Coin. Commemorating Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, first-day sales of the coin were not available at this writing.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Monday Last Week Jan Sales 2016 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 1,500 12,000 89,000 90,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 3,000 23,000 23,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 4,000 36,000 36,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 10,000 150,000 150,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 500 4,000 34,000 34,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 732,500 926,500 5,954,500 6,687,000
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 N/A N/A  
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