Gold futures declined for the first time in four sessions Tuesday, easing from a 3-1/2 month high yet logging a second straight monthly increase.
Gold for April delivery shed $4.90, or 0.4%, to settle at $1,253.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. In starting the week on Monday, they closed at their best level since Nov. 10.
"The growing uncertainty across the board and rising political risks have bolstered the appetite for safe-haven assets with gold back in fashion," MarketWatch quoted Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM. "This yellow metal remains bullish on the daily charts, with further upside expected in the short term if the greenback continues to depreciate."
After advancing 5.2% in January — their strongest monthly gain since shooting up 8.5% in June, gold futures climbed 3.5% in February. The yellow metal is 8.9% higher on the year to date.
Closing up for a fourth session in a row, silver for May delivery added 5.2 cents, or 0.3%, to finish at $18.469 an ounce. The settlement is the highest since Nov. 10 when the precious metal ended at $18.737 an ounce. Silver futures jumped 5.3% in February after soaring 9.7% in January. They are 15.5% higher so far this year.
In PGM futures on Tuesday and for the month:
April platinum fell $7.90, or 0.8%, to $1,031 an ounce, but still logged a 3.5% monthly increase.
- Palladium for June delivery dropped $13.30, or 1.7%, to $771.70 an ounce, trimming their increase in February to 2.3%.
Both metals are solidly higher this year with gains of 13.8% for platinum and 12.9% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices declined on Tuesday but also advanced for the month. In comparing their levels from Monday PM to Tuesday PM:
- Gold lost $1.60, or 0.1%, to $1,255.60 an ounce.
- Silver shed 6 cents, or 0.3%, to $18.28 an ounce.
- Platinum fell $4, or 0.4%, to $1,029 an ounce.
- Palladium lost $3, or 0.4%, to $781 an ounce.
In February, their prices advanced by 3.5% for gold, 5.7% for silver, 3.8% for platinum and 3.3% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Coin Sales in 2017
U.S. Mint orders of American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins slowed in February, taking an expected break from their quickened pace in January when newly 2017-dated editions launched. They also fell sharply from their year-ago levels. In headline comparisons:
American Eagle gold coins reached 27,500 ounces, falling 76.6% from the 117,500 ounces sold in January and dropping 67.1% from February 2016 when sales hit 83,500 ounces. For the year so far, sales at 145,000 ounces are 30.1% lower than the 207,500 ounces delivered during the first two months of last year.
American Eagle silver coins reached 1,215,000, down 76.3% from their January total of 5,127,500 and off 74.6% from the 4,782,000 ounces moved in February of last year. 2017 Silver Eagle sales at 6,342,500 are 40.9% lower than the 10,736,500 coins sold through the same time frame in 2016.
American Buffalo gold coins moved up by 15,000 ounces, marking declines of 53.1% from January sales of 32,000 ounces and 21.1% from the 19,000 ounces delivered in February 2016. Year to date sales at 47,000 ounces are 11% lower than the 53,000 ounces sold during the same two months of a year earlier.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose by 19,500 coins or 97,500 ounces. All sales came from the Iowa’s Effigy Mounds National Monument silver coin. It launched on Feb. 6 as the first 5 ounce release of this year. Last year’s first 5 ounce piece, depicting Shawnee National Forest in Illinois, debuted on Feb. 1 and achieved February sales of 105,000 coins or 525,000 ounces.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods. Products with an asterisk (*) are no longer available.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Tuesday Sales||Last Week||This Week||Jan Sales||Feb Sales||2017 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||20,000||0||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||1,000||3,000||1,500||86,500||21,000||107,500|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||19,000||5,000||24,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||2,000||0||2,000||36,000||4,000||40,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||5,000||0||15,000||125,000||30,000||155,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,500||500||32,000||15,000||47,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||125,000||155,000||450,000||5,127,500||1,215,000||6,342,500|
|2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||600||200||0||19,500||19,500|
|2016 Shawnee 5 Oz Silver Coins*||–|
|2016 Cumberland Gap 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–|
|2016 Harpers Ferry 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||100||0||0|
|2016 Theodore Roosevelt 5 Oz Silver Coin*||–||800||–|
|2016 Fort Moultrie 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0|