Gold, Silver Edge Lower on Week; US Mint Gold Coin Sales Surge

Pile of American Eagle gold bullion coins
Gold fell for a second straight week but weekly sales of U.S. Mint gold coins were the highest in 16 weeks

Precious metals futures closed lower on Friday and for the week. The weekly losses for gold and silver were their second in a row.

Gold for December delivery shed $6.80, or 0.5%, to settle at $1,343.50 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"Real money profit-taking sparked a sell-off that saw gold surrender the day’s gains as sideways trade in gold over the past few weeks are encouraging some investors to deploy capital elsewhere," Reuters quoted Tai Wong, director of base and precious metals trading for BMO Capital Markets in New York.

Gold futures fell less than 0.1% this week after closing 1% lower last week. The yellow metal is now $283, or 26.7%, higher than its final settlement in 2015 at $1,060.20 an ounce.

"The [reported Friday] drop in the retail sales data was a good sign for gold bulls and a further confirmation of our argument that you may not want to give up on gold because [an interest] rate hike is built in the price, but a delay in the rate hike is not," MarketWatch quoted Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets. "This element has the potential to push the price to all the way to the $1,500 mark towards the end of this year."

In looking ahead to next week, Kitco News offers the following forecasts via their Wall Street vs. Main Street survey:

"Seventeen analysts and traders took part in the Wall Street survey. Twelve, or 71%, look for the metal to gain ground in the week ahead. Four, or 24%, look for a decline. Just one voter called for sideways action.

Meanwhile, 830 Main Street participants submitted votes in online survey. A total of 549 respondents, or 66%, said they were bullish for the week ahead, while 156, or 19%, were bearish. The neutral votes totaled 125, or 15%."

Elsewhere in metals trading, silver for September delivery lost 31.7 cents, or 1.6%, to settle at $19.703 an ounce. Silver futures edged 0.6% lower this week after falling 2.6% last week. They are still $5.90, or 42.7%, higher on the year to date.

In PGM futures on Friday and for the week:

  • October platinum fell $27.40, or 2.4%, to $1,129.30 an ounce, for a 1.9% weekly decline.

  • Palladium for September delivery dipped $1, or 0.1%, to $690.80 an ounce, sliding 0.8% this week. The precious metal tumbled 4.8% on Thursday, one day after scoring its highest close since June 2015.

Both metals remain higher on the year so far with gains of 26.4% for platinum and 22.9% for palladium.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals prices declined on Friday and were mixed on the week. In comparing their levels from Thursday PM to Friday PM:

  • Gold declined $2.80, or 0.2%, to $1,352.20 an ounce.
  • Silver fell 34 cents, or 1.7%, to $19.87 an ounce.
  • Platinum declined $19, or 1.6%, to $1,146 an ounce.
  • Palladium fell $15, or 2.1%, to $694 an ounce.

For the week in London bullion prices, gold rose 0.9%, platinum was unchanged, silver dropped 1.7% and palladium declined 0.7%.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016

Bullion distributors have been active in buying U.S. Mint bullion products after their order totals for last week were the lowest of the year — for both gold and silver coins. In week-over-week U.S. Mint bullion sales comparisons:

  • Gold coin sales jumped 28,000 ounces — their highest weekly total since the one ended April 22, and after climbing by only 5,500 ounces last week. This week’s splits include 24,500 ounces in American Gold Eagles and 3,500 ounces in American Gold Buffalo coins. American Gold Eagles accounted for all sales last week.

  • Silver coin sales advanced 250,000 ounces after rising by 75,000 ounces previously. For an eighth week in a row, all sales came from American Silver Eagles.

  • American Platinum Eagle sales rose 19,000 ounces during their first week of availability, which ended July 29. Their sales have not advanced in the two weeks since then.

Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. Mint bullion products with columns listing the number of bullion coins sold during varying periods of time. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Friday Sales Last Week This Week July Sales Aug Sales 2016 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coins 0 0 0 19,000 0 19,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 5,500 5,000 21,500 30,000 26,500 462,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 0 1,000 2,000 1,000 49,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 0 0 10,000 0 96,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 10,000 5,000 25,000 50,000 30,000 585,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 2,000 0 3,500 10,000 3,500 126,000
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 100,000 75,000 250,000 1,370,000 325,000 27,945,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 105,000
2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins* 0 0 0 0 0 75,000
2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 0 0 0 34,200


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Seth Riesling

The US Mint now has only 1,000 of the 2016 Platinum American Eagle $100 .9995 fine bullion version coins available for its 13 worldwide bullion coin Authorized Purchasers to buy at a 4 percent over spot premium. The Mint only did one production run of 20,000 coins & has stated they do not plan on striking anymore.