Precious Metals Fall; US Mint Coin Sales Rise

Homestake silver bar
Precious metals futures declined with losses ranging from 2.2% for platinum to 3.3% for palladium

Precious metals futures tumbled out of the gate in their start to the new trading week on Tuesday. U.S. markets closed Monday for Presidents Day.

Gold for April delivery declined $31.20, or 2.5%, to settle at $1,208.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Gold futures traded from a low of $1,191.50 to a high of $1,236.30.

"Gold prices ended the U.S. day session solidly lower on heavy profit-taking and a corrective technical pullback from strong gains last week that saw prices hit a 12-month high," Jim Wyckoff, a senior analyst at Kitco Metals Inc., said in a report. "The gold market bulls now appear to be at least short-term exhausted after expending so much energy last week."

Gold prices soared last week by $81.70, or 7.1%, scoring their best weekly gain since 2008.

Silver for March delivery dropped 45.6 cents, or 2.9%, to settle at $15.334 an ounce. Silver prices ranged from $15.15 to $15.74. They rallied 6.9% last week.

In other precious metals dealings on Tuesday:

  • April platinum fell $20.90, or 2.2%, to $937.20 an ounce, trading between $928 and 957.30.

  • Palladium for March delivery fell $17.40, or 3.3%, to $509.60 an ounce, ranging from $506.20 to $524.75.

Last week, platinum gained 6% and palladium advanced 5.7%.

London Precious Metals Prices

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

  • Gold added $1.30, or 0.1%, to $1,209.50 an ounce.
  • Silver added 9 cents, or 0.6%, to $15.35 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 registered gains of 21,500 ounces in gold coins and 803,000 ounces in American Silver Eagles.

The U.S. Mint is rationing Silver Eagle sales because of silver planchet shortages. Earlier Tuesday, the agency announced its weekly limit at 1 million coins. Mint distributors ordered 80.3% of those, leaving 197,000 until more become available next week.

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.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Tuesday Sales Last Week Jan Sales Feb Sales 2016 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 16,000 25,500 89,000 51,000 140,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 0 23,000 5,000 28,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 6,000 2,000 36,000 8,000 44,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 10,000 15,000 145,000 40,000 185,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 4,000 34,000 8,000 42,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 803,000 1,000,000 5,954,500 2,848,500 8,803,000
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 20,000 N/A 75,000 75,000
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