Gold, Silver Decline in October; US Mint Bullion Sales Surge

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Precious metals futures posted October losses that ranged from 3.3% for gold to 14.4% for palladium

Precious metals were little changed in their final day of trade for October. Gold futures declined for the first time in three sessions, increasing their monthly loss.

Gold for December delivery shed $3.70, or 0.3%, to settle at $1,273.10 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

"You’ve got the FOMC meeting Tuesday and Wednesday and I could see some guys positioning in gold early, and the Fed may give a strong indication that they’re going to raise rates in December," Bloomberg News quoted Phil Streible, a senior market strategist at RJO Futures in Chicago. "The political situation is also having one of the biggest impacts on all these markets, because it seems like every five minutes the story is changing."

Gold futures dropped 3.3% in October after edging up 0.4% in September. On Friday, prices closed at their best level since Oct. 3. The precious metal is 20.1% higher than its final settlement in 2015 at $1,060.20 an ounce.

Meanwhile, silver for December delivery closed unchanged at $17.796 an ounce. Matching Friday, the settlement is the strongest since Oct. 3. Silver futures still posted a 7.4% monthly decline after rising in September by 2.7%. They are 28.9% higher than the final settlement last year of $13.803 an ounce.

In PGM futures on Monday and for the month:

  • January platinum lost $2.80, or 0.3%, to settle at $978.60 an ounce, logging a 5.4% decline in October.

  • Palladium for December delivery tacked on $1.65, or 0.3%, to $618 an ounce, paring its monthly loss to 14.4%.

Both metals are higher year to date with gains of 9.6% for platinum and 10% for palladium.

London Precious Metals Prices

London precious metals prices were mixed Monday and down on the month. In comparing their levels from Friday PM to Monday PM:

  • Gold dipped $1, or less than 0.1%, to $1,272 an ounce.
  • Silver added 15 cents, or 0.9%, to $17.76 an ounce.
  • Platinum rose $4, or 0.4%, to $976 an ounce.
  • Palladium fell $4, or 0.6%, to $612 an ounce.

London bullion prices registered October losses of 3.8% for gold, 8.2% for silver, 5.6% for platinum and 15.2% for palladium.

US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2016

United States Mint bullion sales improved for a third month in a row, this time sharply. The U.S. Mint sold more American Eagle and Buffalo gold coins in October than in any month since January, and monthly sales of American Silver Eagles were the strongest since May. In headline bullion coin comparisons:

  • American Eagle gold coins surged by 116,000 ounces in October, marking advances of 23.4% from September sales of 94,000 ounces and 241.2% from the 34,000 ounces delivered in October 2015. Year to date sales total 808,000 ounces for a 14.8% increase over the 704,000 ounces sold during the first ten months of 2015.

  • American Buffalo gold coins moved up 28,500 ounces this month, rising 62.9% from the 17,500 ounces moved last month and jumping 171.4% from the 10,500 ounces sold in October 2015. Sales from the January to October period at 177,500 ounces are 1.9% lower than the 181,000 ounces sold during the same time last year.

  • American Eagle silver coins advanced 3,825,000 ounces in October, up 128.4% from the September tally of 1,675,000 ounces and 1% higher than the 3,788,000 ounces delivered in October of last year. Sales of 2016 American Silver Eagles at 34,400,500 coins are 13.7% lower than the 39,842,500 coins delivered during the same period in 2015.

  • America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced by 16,500 ounces this month after climbing by 11,000 ounces in September. Both months lacked new releases. The final 2016-dated design for Fort Moultrie in South Carolina becomes available in November.

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

US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)
Monday Sales Last Week Sept Sales Oct Sales 2016 Sales
$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coins* 20,000
$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coins 6,500 17,500 79,000 100,500 665,500
$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coins 1,000 1,000 5,000 8,000 64,000
$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coins 0 4,000 16,000 16,000 132,000
$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coins 5,000 20,000 85,000 75,000 775,000
$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coins 3,000 3,500 17,500 28,500 177,500
$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coins 150,000 250,000 1,675,000 3,825,000 34,400,500
2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins* 105,000
2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coins* 75,000
2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 0 200 200 36,500
2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coins 0 500 2,000 3,100 32,600


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