Gold, Silver Down for Third Session; US Mint Bullion Sales Rise

One gold bullion bar and graph
Losses in precious metals futures ranged from 0.2% for silver to 0.7% for platinum

Precious metals futures settled modestly lower Wednesday, with gold and silver recording their third straight session losses.

Gold for April delivery fell $5.50, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,257.40 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"So far, this week, we have been in a ‘news vacuum’ of sorts that has left gold to bounce around as prices are largely being driven by trader positioning ahead of the ECB," MarketWatch quoted Tyler Richey, co-editor of The 7:00’s Report. "So if the ECB underwhelms the market again like they did in December and the dollar spikes lower, then expect gold to extend its recent gains."

On Thursday, the European Central Bank will announce its decision on monetary policy. Many economists are expecting more stimulative measures.

Gold prices ranged from a low of $1,243.60 to a high of $1,265.70. They dipped less than 0.1% on Tuesday and fell 0.5% on Monday. For the week so far, gold futures are down 1.1%. As recently as Friday, they closed at a 13-month high and logged a weekly increase of 4.1%.

Silver for May delivery shed 2.4 cents, or 0.2%, to settle at $15.366 an ounce. Silver prices traded between $15.20 and $15.46. They are down 2.1% on the week.

In PGM futures on Wednesday:

  • April platinum turned down $6.60, or 0.7%, to $982.80 an ounce, ranging from $973 to $987.70.

  • Palladium for June delivery slipped 70 cents, or 0.1%, to $566.15 an ounce, trading between $549.70 and $571.40.

London Precious Metals Prices

In comparing earlier fixed London gold and silver prices from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:

  • Gold declined $20.60, or 1.6%, to $1,246.40 an ounce.
  • Silver declined 39 cents, or 2.5%, to $15.27 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 products registered gains of 2,000 ounces in gold coins and 208,500 ounces in American Silver Eagles.

The U.S. Mint this week limited sales of Silver Eagles to 1 million coins. Distributors ordered 96.8% of them through Wednesday, leaving 32,500 left until more become available next week. Their cumulative sales are at 11,967,500 coins, or 24.4% higher than through the same time in record year 2015.

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 Mar Sales 2016 Sales
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 1,500 10,000 9,000 89,000 67,500 10,000 166,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 0 23,000 6,000 0 29,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 2,000 2,000 36,000 12,000 2,000 50,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 35,000 5,000 145,000 100,000 15,000 260,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 0 2,000 2,000 34,000 19,000 2,000 55,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 208,500 1,000,000 967,500 5,954,500 4,782,000 1,231,000 11,967,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 0 N/A 105,000 0 105,000


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