Precious metals futures rose Thursday, padding gains in August that ranged from 3.8% for gold to 6.1% for platinum. Gold scored its fifth monthly increase and ended at a new 11-month high.
Gold for December delivery advanced $8.10, or 0.6%, to settle at $1,322.20 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The settlement is the highest since Sept. 29 when prices ended at $1,326 an ounce.
"For the first time in many years, traders and investors are asking me whether they can invest in gold," MarketWatch quoted Chintan Karnani, chief market analyst at Insignia Consultants. "I have not seen such positive outlook to gold in the past two years."
Gold futures gained 3.8% in August following four monthly increases of 2.5% in July, 2.6% in June, 0.6% in May, and 1.4% in April. For the year to date, the yellow metal is 14.8% higher.
Meanwhile, silver for December delivery tacked on 7.2 cents, or 0.4%, to finish at $17.575 an ounce. The close is the strongest since June 6 when prices ended at $17.71 an ounce.
Silver futures rallied 4.7% in August after rising 1% in July. They last closed lower for a month in June, falling 4.5%. The precious metal is 9.9% higher so far this year.
In PGM futures on Thursday and for August:
October platinum added $3.30, or 0.3%, to $998.50 an ounce, for a 6.1% monthly increase.
- Palladium for December delivery added $1.20, or 0.1%, to $932.25 an ounce, the highest close since February 2001. It rallied 5.3% in August.
Both metals are stronger on the year to date with advances of 10.3% for platinum and 36.4% for palladium.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices ended mixed on the day and higher for the month. In comparing their levels from Wednesday PM to Thursday PM:
- Gold added $3.25 or 0.3%, to 1,311.75 an ounce.
- Silver fell 10 cents, or 0.6%, to $17.34 an ounce.
- Platinum declined $3, or 0.3%, to $986 an ounce.
- Palladium dipped $1, or 0.1%, to $935 an ounce.
In August, London bullion price advances totaled 3.5% for both gold and silver, 5.1% for platinum and 4.6% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2017
The United States Mint sold fewer American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins in August than in July, and levels fell short from a year earlier. In headline comparisons:
American Eagle gold coins advanced by 9,500 ounces in August, logging declines of 45.7% from 17,500 ounces in July and 83.8% from 58,500 ounces in August 2016. Year to date sales at 220,500 ounces are 63.1% lower than the 598,000 ounces delivered during the first eight months of 2016.
American Eagle silver coins reached 1.025 million ounces for the month, sliding 55.8% from 2.32 million ounces in July and falling 19.9% from 1.28 million ounces in August of last year. 2017 Silver Eagle sales at 15,578,500 are down by nearly half, 46.1%, from the 28,900,500 sold in the January to August period of 2016.
American Buffalo gold coins rose by 3,000 ounces in August, marking declines of 50% from 6,000 ounces in July and 66.7% from 9,000 ounces in August 2016. Year to date sales at 75,000 ounces are 43% lower than the 131,500 ounces moved during the same time last year.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins advanced by 197,500 ounces in August — all from the newly released piece honoring Ellis Island, after they registered flat in July. They climbed 34.4% from the 147,000 ounces sold in August 2016. However, their sales for the year so far at 572,500 ounces are 53% lower than the 1,218,000 ounces sold through the same seven months in 2016.
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)|
|Thursday||Last Week||This Week||July||August||YTD|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,500||500||13,500||6,500||162,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||1,000||0||0||2,000||29,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||4,000||2,000||54,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||15,000||0||30,000||15,000||305,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||500||500||6,000||3,000||75,000|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||190,000||600,000||2,320,000||1,025,000||15,578,500|
|2017 Effigy Mounds 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||35,000|
|2017 Frederick Douglass 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2017 Ozark Riverways 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||0||0||0||0||20,000|
|2017 Ellis Island 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||N/A||39,500||N/A||39,500||39,500|