Most precious metals ended lower Wednesday. Gold futures dipped from an almost 8-month high, closing down for the first time in six sessions.
Gold for April delivery declined $4, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,194.60 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.
"I think we’re seeing profit taking after the largest rally gold’s seen in a couple years," Bloomberg News quoted James Cordier, the founder of Optionsellers.com in Tampa, Florida. "The fact that Yellen is even discussing rate hikes in 2016 doesn’t help gold at a time when other central banks are going in the opposite direction."
Earlier Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said that growing risks to the economy could slow the pace of interest rate hikes but financial conditions could still allow for gradual increases in 2016 as previously forecasted. Moving them lower again is not likely, according to Yellen.
"I don’t expect the (Federal Open Market Committee) is going to be soon in the situation where it is necessary to cut rates," Yellen said before a Congressional committee.
Gold prices traded from a low of $1,181.80 to a high of $1,194.80. On Tuesday, they ended at their highest level since June 19. The precious metal is 3.2% higher on the week.
Silver for March delivery fell 16.7 cents, or 1.1%, to settle at $15.282 an ounce. Silver prices traded between $15.11 and $15.33. They finished at a nearly 3.5-month high on Tuesday.
In PGM futures on Wednesday:
April platinum shed $5.20, or 0.6%, to $934.20 an ounce, ranging from $922.90 to $937.10.
- Palladium for March delivery tacked on $7.85, or 1.5%, to $524.70 an ounce, trading between $507.60 and $525.25.
London Precious Metals Prices
Earlier fixed London gold and silver prices also declined. In comparing their levels from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:
- Gold fell $1, or less than 0.1%, to $1,190 an ounce.
- Silver fell 22 cents, or 1.4%, to $15.12 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 surged with gains of 19,500 ounces in gold coins and ounces and 277,500 ounces silver coins.
This week, the U.S. Mint limited sales of American Silver Eagles to 1 million coins. The last of those have now been claimed and no more will be available until next Monday. Their cumulative total stands at 8 million coins since going on sale Jan. 11. Last year’s 2015-dated Silver Eagle ended at a record 47 million coins, with sales through Feb. 10, 2015 reaching 6,919,000 coins.
Below is a sales breakdown of United States Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time. Updated 5-ounce sales were not available at the time of this writing.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Jan Sales||Feb Sales||2016 Sales|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins||15,500||9,500||21,000||89,000||30,500||119,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins||0||3,000||0||23,000||3,000||26,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins||0||0||0||36,000||0||36,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins||5,000||15,000||5,000||145,000||20,000||165,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins||3,500||2,000||0||34,000||5,500||39,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins||277,500||1,045,500||1,000,000||5,954,500||2,045,500||8,000,000|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins||0||55,000||0||N/A||55,000||55,000|