Gold futures declined for a second day in a row Wednesday, and logged their first monthly loss since October.
Gold for April delivery dipped 70 cents, or about 0.05%, to settle at $1,317.90 an ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. The close is the weakest since Feb. 9.
"Even though the dollar is stronger and Treasury yields are higher, the gold market oversold itself yesterday," said Walter Pehowich, executive vice president of investment services at Dillon Gage Metals.
Gold futures dropped 1.1% on Tuesday and they edged up 0.2% on Monday. The yellow metal traded 1.9% lower in February after three monthly increases had lifted prices by a combined 5.7%. Gold is 0.7% higher on the year so far.
Elsewhere, silver for May delivery declined 2.7 cents, or nearly 0.2%, to finish at $16.407 an ounce. Silver futures sank 4.8% in February following two monthly gains of 0.6% in January and 4.1% in December. They are down on the year by 4.3%.
In PGM futures on Wednesday and for the month:
April platinum rose $3.50, or 0.4%, to $988.10 an ounce, but fell 1.6% in February.
- Palladium for June delivery gained $8.35, or 0.8%, to $1,037.60 an ounce, for a 1.4% monthly increase.
The two are divided on the year to date with platinum 5.3% higher and palladium 2.2% lower.
London Precious Metals Prices
London precious metals prices declined on Wednesday and in February. In comparing their levels from Tuesday PM to Wednesday PM:
- Gold declined $7.90, or 0.6%, to $1,317.85 an ounce.
- Silver fell 17 cents, or 1%, to $16.44 an ounce.
- Platinum lost $15, or 1.5%, to $979 an ounce.
- Palladium declined $21, or 2%, to $1,041 an ounce.
As for February in LBMA prices, losses reached 2% for gold, 4.6% for silver, 2.4% for platinum and 1% for palladium.
US Mint Bullion Sales in 2018
U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle and Buffalo bullion coins slowed in February, taking an expected break from their quickened pace in January when newly 2018-dated editions launched. They also dropped sharply from their year-ago levels. In headline comparisons across all U.S. Mint bullion products:
American Eagle gold coins totaled to only 5,500 ounces, falling 90.6% from the 58,500 ounces sold in January and dropping 80% from February 2017 when sales reached 27,500 ounces. For the year so far, Gold Eagle sales at 64,000 ounces are 56% lower than the 145,500 ounces delivered during the first two months of last year.
American Eagle silver coins totaled 942,500, down 70.9% from the January total of 3,235,000 and off 22.4% from the 1,215,000 ounces moved in February of last year. 2018 Silver Eagle sales at 4,177,500 are 34.1% lower than the 6,342,500 coins sold through the same time in 2017.
American Buffalo gold coins moved up by 2,500 ounces, marking declines of 89.6% from January sales of 24,000 ounces and 83.3% from the 15,000 ounces delivered in February 2017. Year to date sales at 26,500 ounces are 43.6% lower than the 47,000 ounces sold during the same two months of a year earlier.
American Eagle platinum coins reached 20,000, matching the amount that the U.S. Mint produced for sale in years 2016 and 2017.
America the Beautiful Five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins rose by 20,000 coins or 100,000 ounces. All sales came from the Michigan’s Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore silver coin. It launched this past Monday, Feb. 26, as the first 5 ounce release of this year. Last year’s first 5 ounce coin, depicting Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa, debuted on Feb. 6 and achieved February sales of 19,500 coins or 97,500 ounces.
Below is a sales breakdown of U.S. bullion products with columns listing the number of coins sold during varying periods.
|US Mint Bullion Sales (# of coins)|
|Wednesday||Last Week||This Week||December||January||February||2018 Sales|
|$100 American Eagle 1 Oz Platinum Coin||0||0||0||N/A||N/A||20,000||20,000|
|$50 American Eagle 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||2,000||0||38,000||36,000||5,000||41,000|
|$25 American Eagle 1/2 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||3,000||16,000||0||16,000|
|$10 American Eagle 1/4 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||0||4,000||26,000||0||26,000|
|$5 American Eagle 1/10 Oz Gold Coin||0||5,000||0||25,000||80,000||5,000||85,000|
|$50 American Buffalo 1 Oz Gold Coin||0||0||500||14,000||24,000||2,500||26,500|
|$1 American Eagle 1 Oz Silver Coin||0||70,000||237,500||742,000||3,235,000||942,500||4,177,500|
|Pictured Rocks 5 Oz Silver Coin||0||N/A||20,000||N/A||20,000||20,000|