Gold, Silver Edge Higher; US Mint Silver Coins Climb

Five gold bullion bars
Precious metals posted gains ranging from 0.3% for silver to 1.3% for platinum

Precious metals futures ended higher in the mid-week trading session Wednesday. Gains in gold and silver were modest, and their first in three sessions.

Gold for April delivery added $3.20, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,211.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Having been long-standing bears (on gold), we have now turned bullish," ABN Amro said in a note prior to the release of the minutes. "We no longer expect the Fed to raise interest rates again in 2016. We think it will only resume its rate hike cycle once economic growth strengthens and the economy has absorbed the past tightening of financial conditions."

Gold futures traded from a low of $1,196.20 to a high of $1,212.70. They declined 2.5% in starting the new trading week on Tuesday with the Presidents Day on Monday.

Silver for March delivery climbed 4.3 cents, or 0.3%, to settle at $15.377 an ounce. Silver prices ranged from $15.19 to $15.42. They tumbled in the prior session by 45.6 cents or 2.9%.

In PGM futures on Wednesday:

  • April platinum rose $12.40, or 1.3%, to $949.70 an ounce, trading between $930.50 and 952.20.

  • Palladium for March delivery settled up $6.30, or 1.2%, to $515.90 an ounce, ranging from $508.30 to $516.50.

London Precious Metals Prices

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

  • Gold edged up 50 cents to $1,210 an ounce.
  • Silver shed 10 cents, or 0.7%, to $15.25 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 were limited on Wednesday to American Silver Eagles, which advanced by 123,500 coins. The U.S. Mint is rationing their sales because of silver planchet shortages and 1 million are allotted for this week. Mint distributors have ordered 92.7% of those, leaving 73,500 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)
Wednesday Sales Last Week This Week Jan Sales Feb Sales 2016 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 25,500 16,000 89,000 51,000 140,000
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 2,000 23,000 5,000 28,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 2,000 6,000 36,000 8,000 44,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 0 15,000 10,000 145,000 40,000 185,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 4,000 2,000 34,000 8,000 42,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 123,500 1,000,000 926,500 5,954,500 2,972,000 8,926,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 20,000 0 N/A 75,000 75,000
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